New venture boosts farm business

EVER since she was a little girl, Carina Gibson knew she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and work on the family farm.As a teenager, she went to Writtle College to study agriculture and spent years working alongside her father, David Gibson, at Frowick Hall Farm in St Osyth.

By Annie Davidson

EVER since she was a little girl, Carina Gibson knew she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and work on the family farm.

As a teenager, she went to Writtle College to study agriculture and spent years working alongside her father, David Gibson, at Frowick Hall Farm in St Osyth.

And when he died suddenly three years ago, aged 67, Miss Gibson continued to run the 300-acre arable farm on her own.


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But now, like many farmers, she has decided to diversify and open her own business at the Frowick Lane farm.

The 29-year-old launched Fine Feathers on May 5 and offers fresh flowers, designer hats, bridal tiaras and gifts.

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Her next project is to begin growing the flowers to sell and to create a pumpkin patch for children to create Halloween lanterns in the autumn.

Miss Gibson said: “Three years ago my dad died suddenly of cancer and I did the farm on my own for a year.

“I got to thinking there is more to life than sitting on a tractor all day, it suits some people but not particularly me any more.

“I got married last May to another farmer and I contracted the farm out to him.”

She then set about setting up Fine Feathers in the former dairy and storeroom opposite the farm, which has been in the family since 1928.

Miss Gibson said she felt the business offered people a chance to choose hats and bridal tiaras away from busy town centres and in a relaxed environment.

She will be installing a changing room so people can bring their outfits and match them with hats.

In the future she hopes to convert a second building and lease it out for use as a business such as antiques and possibly a tearoom.

Miss Gibson described farming as being “in the doldrums” and said it was no longer a profitable business in isolation but she hoped running Fine Feathers in conjunction with it would work well.

She added that even if her father had not died she had been ready to try something different - but now she can only guess what he would say about her new venture.

“If he could see it now he would probably say 'what have you done to my barn?'” she joked.

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