THE ups and downs of running a business during the Covid crisis could not be plainer than at Great Parton Farm

It’s the home of Orgasmic Cider and a farm shop.

And when the lockdown came the passing trade that brothers Steve and Andy Layton relied on for 90% of their trade just wasn’t there any more.

The main business of the farmer is as growers for Bulmers Cider, with 110 acres providing the apples for the huge cidermaker.

But it’s a diverse business, and along with sheep two key elements are the shop and the awartd-winning craft ciders that they make under the brand Orgasmic Cider.

The shop sells produce made mainly within a 15-mile radius, including cider – of course – gin, ales, honey and chutneys.

The craft ciders on offer come from 14 acres of traditional, organic orchards which produce single variety ciders like Brown Snout or Yarlington Mill.

According to Steve they come with their own particular flavours and, just like French wines, can have a vintage as the flavours can vary depending on the weather that year.

There are also five acres of mixed variety apples that are used to produce blended craft ciders.

During the lockdown the brothers lost pretty much all their passing trsade. “We hardly sold anything for three months.

But as lockdown has eased they are actually busier than they were this time last year. “People are out and about and making up for what they missed.”

The orchards have been on the farm since the 1720s, but the family business also includes arable farming and unusual Airbnb accommodation – a full restored Victorian rail carriage which sleeps two adults and two children.

The Three Counties Farming Awards highlight best practice and outstanding work in the farming industry.

To nominate someone just go to and fill in the online form.

Entries close on September 18. Categories are: Sheep Farmer Award; Farm Conservation; Cattle Farmer; Family Run Farm; Pig Farmer; Young Farmer (under 25); Poultry Farmer; Farming Hero; Arable Farmer; Farming Contractor; Fruit/Hop Farmer; Outstanding Achievement.

This year’s awards ceremony takes place in November in the form of a digital live broadcast and includes a star-studded array of stars either hosting or dropping in with special messages.