Three young Oxfordshire brothers are working hard to sell produce from their farm to raise funds a charity which works with vulnerable farmers and communities in eastern Africa to help them grow more food.
The brothers – Tom, James and Oliver – are 15, 13 and 12. They live on Lessor Farm near Milcombe in the Banbury area and for the last few years they have been selling their produce at Wykham Park Farm Shop(2) in Bodicote.
When they are not busy with their homework, Tom, James and Oliver have made money through lambing and selling juice made from their own apples under the label of Three Brothers.
By donating much of the money they make to specially chosen charities, the brothers are helping to transform the lives of those less fortunate than themselves.
Over the last three years the brothers have got to grips with the exhausting work of managing a flock of ewes. They have learned to foot-bath the flock regularly, worm them, vaccinate them and generally keep them healthy. They have also bought two rams from Thame Auction Mart and have been rewarded for all their hard work by making money from sales of the lambs.
Starting with just 13 ewes three years ago, the brothers have overseen an increase in the size of their flock to 49.
Alongside their regular lambing duties, Tom, James and Oliver have also been hard at work developing their apple juice sales. The boys pick the ripe apples themselves before washing the fruit, crushing it to a pulp and then pressing it. They even design and print their own bottle labels.
In 2010 the brothers managed to sell 120 litres of juice; and this year they have doubled the overall amount of juice made.
The boys were inspired to fund charities with their hard-earned cash following a family holiday to Cambodia. The holiday opened their eyes to how fortunate they were in comparison with children at a Cambodian school they visited. James, Oliver and Tom now donate a sum from the money they make to fund a computer technology teacher at the Tchey School in Siem Reap.
This year the boys have decided to support the work of FARM-Africa. They will donate a handsome 50p from every bottle of juice they sell this autumn at Wykham Park Farm Shop between Banbury and Bloxham(2).
They were inspired to support FARM-Africa after a friend of their father’s took part in a recent climb of Mt Kilimanjaro for the charity:
“Inspired, we decided to look at the website. We thought that FARM-Africa’s system of helping poor people by providing equipment and know-how so that they can farm and feed themselves was a very good idea so we decided to help this charity too.
“We are starting by donating 50p for every bottle of apple juice we sell this autumn at the local farm shop. We asked FARM-Africa for posters so that people know who we are trying to help.”