I N 1966 the ‘Godfather of Soul’, James Brown released a song called It’s a Man’s World.

The opening lines of the song are: “This is a man’s world, this is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl...”

Maybe it is a modern world or just the ever changing world in which we live in, but if you go to the Blackdown Hills you will see a farm which would espouse ‘This is a woman’s world’ and where a single mum can drive a tractor and herd pigs, sheep and cattle.

The wonder woman of farming in this case is Donna Lucking, who runs and owns Ellises Farm in Hemyock, just over the border in Devon.

On the farm there are Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, Hogget sheep and Hereford beef cattle.

Donna has been running her farm for 14 years and operating her stall at Taunton Farmers’ Market for 10 years.

So how did she come to do what she does?

Donna said: “I wanted to rear the rarer breeds.

“I used to be a vegetarian but I wanted to eat meat but I wanted to make sure the animals were cared for in the best way possible throughout their lives.

“I wanted to control how they were treated, how the meat was dealt with and making sure there were no nitrates, additives or preservatives.

“It is what I would call proper food created by traditional methods.

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“Another reason is I am a bit of a country girl.

"When I moved to the country I started making a few sausages and I gave them to some friends who said how much they liked them and it grew from there.

“This all started when I was on maternity leave.

"Jobs I had included in hotel catering, management and I was a hairdresser but I always found food interesting. If you had said to me 20 years ago I would be making salamis, I would not have believed you.”

In the leaflet for Ellises Farm it states: “What makes our pork taste so good is our traditional rare breed pigs are born on the farm and spend all their lives outdoors rooting around in roots and acorns.

“All our pigs are fed GM free feeds, which do not contain antibiotics, growth promoters or unnatural additives and are raised to the highest welfare standards.

“The meat is professionally butchered right here on the farm where we can produce our own preservatives and additive free sausages, nitrate free bacon, hams and curing of salamis, chorizo and air dried meats and smoked products.

“When you buy locally from small producers you are not only supporting local business but reducing your ‘food miles’, having a lesser impact on the environment and receiving fresher quality produce from producers who pay attention to animal welfare and how the food on your plate tastes.”

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One of the dimensions of life which Donna is proudest about is having achieved all of this by herself.

She said: “I guess what all of this has taught me is you can be successful if you are prepared to work hard.

“The whole package does give me a buzz.

"It is hard work but you know you are doing everything to the highest standards.

“Also, the customers tell me they are enjoying what I produce so that is good.

“It does get difficult when it’s wet and cold and muddy, but at least I can be flexible and try and work around the weather.

“You do get an adrenaline rush when you are working for yourself even when you have to stay up until 2am as you have to get people’s orders ready.

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“It is great to be a niche seller and selling online also allows customers to buy a different product they might not usually get.

“When I first started it was very much a learning curve as I knew nothing about herding pigs or cattle.

"Now, they will come when I call them as opposed to me having to go and fetch them.

“It tends to make a herdswoman of me.

"But I am doing it as a single mum and doing it in this day and age means a lot more pressure.

“I enjoy doing it and I enjoy dealing with the animals and even driving a tractor.”

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For more information, log on to ellisesfarm.co.uk, email enquires@ellisesfarm.co.uk, or call 01823 680814.