We now have the fifth generation of our family working with apples, which started in 1927 when William Brice bought Mockbeggar Farm in North Kent. He was a pioneer and became one of the top fruit farmers in the country. His son Joe Brice continued the great work and diversified just before the 'invasion' of French apples in the 1970s. I can remember driving round the farm with him during holidays, testing the fruit to make sure it tasted good! My uncles, Simon and Peter Brice, expanded the work until they retired, when my brother, John Myatt, took over and still farms on the original site with his daughters Alex & Hannah. They continue to win awards for their fruit.
Although we are now based on the edge of Oxford, we are still involved with apples - growing and pressing apples to make craft cider & apple juice, as well as planting trees as a carbon offset programme. Our apple juice won a Great Taste Award in it's first year and 2 stars in the second year - 2020. We also lead Oxford Vineyard Church, and believe God has given us a mandate to care for his world.
The Myatt side of our family has been traced back to 1430 - generations of farmers. So you could says it's in the blood!
Most of the fruit we press is donated & would otherwise go to waste, but we have also been given the tenancy of an orchard which belongs to Christ Church. There are some very old trees which hadn't been tended for many years. So we are now able to press our own fruit as well.
William Brice inspecting several tons of mulch on the farm.
Andrew & Mandy met at the Royal Agricultural College where we both studied farm management. We felt God redirect us & ended up in Oxford leading Oxford Vineyard Church. The cider, apple juice and carbon offset, have been a fun addition to what we do.
Ed Myatt, our eldest son, is also a director of the CIC & involved in most things, especially research and fund raising. Freddie & David muck in too when they are free.
The photo behind shows the farm workers proudly displaying winning fruit from the late 1920's.