Young couple with no farming experience move to their own farm near Penzance

While most 19-year-olds probably don’t know what they want to do with their lives and are thinking about university, college or the next party, a couple from Penzance decided to run their own farm.

Jowan Bobin and Minnie Gregory started running Castle Brea Farm last spring and less than a year later they already have big plans for the future.

“I don’t remember ever wanting to do anything else,” Jowan said as goats and rare bread sheep skipped around us. The sun shines through the clouds on Mount St Michael in the bay below, giving the famous monument a beautiful wintry halo.

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The view from Jowan and Minnie’s farm is stunning. No wonder the three campsites they created to branch out were full of vacationers and families all summer long.

Neither Jowan nor Minnie come from a farming background, but for Jowan, caring for animals is something he’s done since he was a kid.

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“I was 13 when I took over my parents’ plot of land and had my first animal. At first it was chickens. I was selling eggs by the side of the road. Then I had a sheep. I’ve been building up my collection of animals since I guess. I have always wanted to take care of animals.

Jowan, who took an agriculture course in Exeter before taking up the farm, started helping out at a local dairy aged 10 and went to the Royal Cornwall Show every year, speaking to local farmers and ranchers and looking at the animals.

“My mother is a dentist,” added Jowan. “And my dad is an extreme sports coach, so nothing to do with farming. But they’ve been so supportive.



One of the goats that is part of the Castle Brea farm run by Jowan and Minnie, 19

Minnie’s only contact with farm animals came after meeting Jowan but by her own admission, she has no regrets.

“I was very attached to my sports,” she said. “I am a crossfit trainer. I don’t come from an agricultural background either. My mom is a kindergarten teacher and my dad has his own ice cream van business, but I met Jowan and he was the one who got me involved.

“It can be tough sometimes. Especially on days when it’s raining all day. But it’s so rewarding too.

The young couple own a smallholding on three acres of land behind Jowan’s parents’ house where they raise goats, sheep as well as guinea pigs and a rare breed owl, finches and doves . Visitors can come to the farm and watch the animals, which Jowan and Minnie hope to do more of this year.

There is a shepherd’s hut currently under construction which will become luxury glamping accommodation for visitors and plans are in place to turn an old shipping container into a café.



Jowan and Minnie watch their flock of sheep

To fund their expansion plans, the two 19-year-olds have launched a crowdfunding campaign where members of the public can buy a £5 raffle ticket with 11 lucky people winning a day on the farm for themselves and their family.

In recent months they have sold their boxes of quality slow-raised pork and lamb to customers in Falmouth, Penryn, Penzance and Marazion – something they hope to expand in 2022 as well.

About half a mile on the road to Crowlas, the couple manage a friend’s field and a woodlot near a stream. This is where the rest of their herd of goats graze and rare breed saddleback pigs are kept before giving birth to Jowan and Minnie’s very first piglets.

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“We had 35 sheep last year, but we sold quite a few because it got too heavy,” Jowan said. “Now we only have 16 rare breed Boreray sheep.

Also known as Boreray Blackface or Hebridean Blackface, it is a breed of sheep originating in the St Kilda archipelago off the west coast of Scotland and is also the rarest breed of sheep in the world. UK with only around 500 known breeding ewes.

Jowan added: “Elvis is our golden Guernsey goat, but we are looking to get more this year. We have a few dairy goats and our two saddle back cross pietrain sows and our Oxford pig Sandy and Black. It is probably the second rarest pig breed in the world.



One of the few Boreray breed sheep owned by Jowan and Minnie

“For us, it’s not about having thousands of animals. This is to focus on fewer but rarer pedigree animals.

Jowan is a member of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, a conservation charity whose aim is to ensure the continued existence and viability of Britain’s native farm animals.

“Our sheep turned a large field of tall dead grass into a new pasture field in no time. Goats help control hedgerows and manage the land.

“For us, it’s about conserving rangelands and managing the land in a more sustainable and natural way.”

As we visited Rowan and Minnie’s pigs, Minnie added: “We placed the pigs in a wooded area covered in brambles. They almost cleared the whole area. Later, we will move them to another enclosure and sow wildflowers there, which is better for the environment.



Castle Brea Farm is run by 19-year-old Jowan Bobin and Minnie Gregory.  They have a variety of animals, including rare breed Boreray sheep, pigs - two crossbred saddleback pietrain sows and an Oxford sand and black gilt.  Anglo-Nubian crossbred goats and Guernsey golden goats.  Turtles, a little owl, guinea pigs, chickens and small birds including finches and doves.
Castle Brea Farm is run by 19-year-old Jowan Bobin and Minnie Gregory. They have a variety of animals, including rare breed Boreray sheep, pigs – two crossbred saddleback pietrain sows and an Oxford sand and black gilt. Anglo-Nubian crossbred goats and Guernsey golden goats. Turtles, a little owl, guinea pigs, chickens and small birds including finches and doves.

By next May, the couple hope to have redone a path through the farm to facilitate access to the animal enclosures in wheelchairs or strollers and for holidaymakers to access their glamping pitch or shepherd’s hut.

The cafe will be in place and there will be new animals in the fields. There will be lambs, kits and piglets and Jowan and Minnie will continue to smile, happy with their choice of career and lifestyle.

“We don’t really buy each other gifts for Christmas or birthdays,” Jowan and Minnie said. “We just buy ourselves new animals. We are happy. We wouldn’t want it any other way. »

To help Jowan and Minnie with the crowdfunding campaign, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/castle-brea-farm

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