Farming People and Practises

Agriculture has been very important to the Stowupland’s economy. Until the mid 20th century most local men earned theri living from the land, as agricultural labourers, horsemen or dairymen.

In 1912 Stowupland’s chief crops were wheat, barley, beans, sugar beet and clover.hops had previously been grown but American cheap imports made growing this as a crop unsustainable. At the time of the outbreak of WW1  only 20% of wheat was home grown and 40% of meat was imported.

Horses and Horsemen played a major role in the  19th and early 20th century economy.

Horse and Horseman
Rusty Wade

Rusty (John Wade), worked with the horses on Gipping Farm and stowupland Hall. read more about the horseman with the gift of second sight.

By the early 20th century horse power was supplemented by steam. In the village T. Lambert’s occupation was a Steam Thresher, with a certificate. After the first static engines came moving traction engines.

By the mid 20th century as Traction Engines were supplanted by Tractors, steam engines were no longer used to work the land but became objects for people to enjoy at country fetes.

Fruit growing has been an important crop for the Stowupland economy.  Local maps show that we have always had many orchards and in the first half of the 20th century apple growing was an important  crop (See also Davy’s farm).

In the 1960’s the press reported on the Do-It-Yourself directors of Mid-Suffolk Growers Ltd. They had built their own cold-storage unit in Mill Street,  to provide ‘cold-storage for 250 tons of fruit grown in  the Stowmarket district.  There were 17 members growing apples on 235 acres, pears on 27 acres, and plums on 2 1/2 acres. By 1966 they had a thriving direct sales business and export market in West Africa’.