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Farming insider: Peter Carlisle, UK

About Peter

Peter is the "farm elder". He lives with his wife, Sandra, and their three children; Tom, Will and Georgie. Rowles Farm has been run by the Carlisle family for more than half a century. Peter's parents took over the farm in the village of West Isley in Berkshire back in 1969. Peter passionately carries on the legacy and is delighted with his energetic team: his daughter and twin sons, who are the third generation to grow cereals and raise livestock, secure the future of the family farm.

Farm facts

Family owned since: 1969

Location: West Isley, Berkshire, UK

Farm size: 600 hectares arable

Crops: Wheat, barley, oilseedrape, grapes (for wine)

Animals: Sheep, cattle

Special features: The farm is very family oriented. Will, Tom and Georgie wish to expand their new wine-growing project and have started this venture with around 6 hectares.

Teamwork is the most important thing on our farm. Everyone does a little bit of everything. If we weren't a team, our business wouldn't be as successful as it is today
Peter Carlisle, UK

Question time

What do you hope for from the next generation?

I hope that they all enjoy their life on the farm. The most important thing is that everyone enjoys themselves and has a good time. Our daughter, Georgina, and the twins, Will and Tom, have great partners by their side. That is worth a lot. And Will is getting married soon, his wife also comes from a farming family.

How are you finding passing the farm on to the next generation?

It's going well, I'm more than happy to pass on the farm! It doesn't make sense for me to stay with it forever and ever. So, I'm passing on more and more to our children, bit by bit. And at some point, I will stop and snap my fingers, and everything will just carry on as 'normal'. I can then simply do other things.

How did you get into viticulture?

There are always other projects on the farm, including our vineyard. We just planted three hectares, three more this year and hopefully in 2023 we can harvest the first grapes. A combination of Pinot Noir, Bacchus and Saviour Blanc. I want the bottles of wine just for me, not for anyone else! I'm really looking forward to that! But my children are thinking one step further, they see this as a main goal for the future and want to invest even more in a winery.

Are there rivalries among the siblings?

Son Thomas: I am the best on the farm. End of story. It's as simple as that. Will and Georgina are my apprentices ... (laughs). I guess we all think we're good. A really good team. Everyone does a bit of everything, that's our motto - and it works!

Paving the way. For a fruitful tomorrow.

Farm life is often characterized by family cohesion and traditions that have grown over decades. Around the world, many generations live and work on farms under one roof, and at some point the question of farm succession comes up. Our new Farmer Portraits focus on this generational change that many farmers are facing. Young and old alike - we visited farmers on their farms to have them tell us about their stories, their challenges and their hopes.

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