IT’s not long now until we find out who are the region’s farming heroes in our Three Counties Awards.

We will be broadcasting the awards ceremony at 7pm on November 26 via our Facebook page and in the run-up we are taking a look at the finalists in each category.

Here are those in the running for the Fruit/Hop Farmer award, sponsored by The Duchy of Cornwall estate


Moorcourt Fruit Limited is a family business established over 75 years ago.

It is now run by Eric and Clare Price and their son Chris and his wife Catherine.

Originally a small mixed farm, they have expanded greatly over the past fifteen years.

The family now grow cider apples and premium soft fruit, including cherries and blueberries, and are supplying to top supermarkets M&S and Waitrose.

This year the farm is adding to their crops with raspberries.

With further increased acreage, they are always maximising their opportunities and this is supported by an excellent team of pickers.

Chris and Catherine have two young children who are also passionate about farming and they are keen to look at the continued succession of the business.

In addition to the fruit enterprise they also have a substantial arable and cattle operation, but it is the fruit which has really expanded over the last few years.

As one nominator put it: “I have tasted the fruit and can definitely confirm that it is absolutely delicious!”


Great Parton Farm is the home of Orgasmic Cider and a farm shop run by brothers Steve and Andy Layton and their families.

The main business of the farm 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 award-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.

The orchards have been on the farm since the 1720s, but the business also includes arable farming and a fully restored Victorian rail carriage for Airbnb.


Instone Court Farm near Bromyard was purchased by the Parker family in 1919 and this family-run farm is now run by Simon Parker and his wife Elaine.

The farm grows cider fruit, bramley apples, soft fruit, cobnuts and the real passion of the farm: hops.

They also have free range chickens and Ryeland sheep. The farm has its own ‘farm vending machine’ selling fresh and local produce (not just from Instone Court). Getting fresh produce from farm to consumer directly and at a very reasonable price.

Why Simon and Instone Court are so important to brewers is the passion that he shows and the time he gives (freely) to educate local brewers to get the best from local hops.

Simon planted 3 varieties of old hops just for local brewers to use in the very seasonal Green Hop (or Harvest) beers.

Simon wants to promote The Hopshires (hops grown in Herefordshire/Worcestershire/Shropshire), educates brewers and the public with his ‘meet the grower’ evenings organised with local landlords and wants the growing of hops to be more sustainable and to ensure that hops are grown locally for generations to come.

For more on the awards go to