In 1690 one of our Wheeler ancestors started growing hops in West Hoathly, Sussex. Several generations later, and a shift to East Sussex, and we're still growing hops today.
Ken Wheeler, one of three farming brothers from Kent, made the move to East Sussex in 1956 farming sheep, hops and fruit at Parsonage Farm. By 1978 Ken was joined by his two sons who quickly established the Pick Your Own enterprise at neighbouring Tibbs Farm. The enterprise has always been kept simple opening the fruit fields to the public during the summer months before returning the sheep to graze the grassed areas for the rest of the year.
Skip a few more years and the next generation come into the fold. By this point in 2017 talk turned to the next chapter of the Tibbs story.
We've always wanted to maintain the simplicity with which we have run Tibbs. It is traditional but efficient. Our enterprises work together - the sheep graze and fertilise helping to maintain rich soils for our crops. Farming is all about working with the land, identifying the opportunities available and making best use of them. It is our hope that our cafe and farmshop project enhances your experience of visiting our beautiful PYO and farm. For us it will provide a platform to showcase the best of what we do as farmers. We view this period as our experimentation stage, we're just getting started, and have lots to come.
The wheel we now use as our Tibbs Farm logo was used by Ken Wheeler as a stamp on the farm's apple bushel boxes. As we move forward with this next venture we think it perfectly encapsulates us and our farm as a whole. We are traditional but progressive, more than just a PYO, a mixed family farm celebrating all we grow and do.
Our cafe and farmshop project at Tibbs really has been a community driven effort (planning permission was really hard work) to all those who helped us - thank you, we really hope you like what we've done to the place and cannot wait to welcome you to Tibbs.
The Wheeler Family