In organic farming, crop rotation is vital for replenishing the fertility of the soil whilst
reducing the impact of weeds, diseases and pests. So we grow a wide variety of legumes including
clover, grass leys, mustard, beans, peas, and turnips as well as our cereal crops. We also split
many of these crops between autumn sowing and spring sowing to break the lifecycles and
germination periods of pests and weeds.
In conventional farming, crop nutrition is supplied by artificial fertilisers. But these only
deliver a short-term 'boost' to the soil, and they can lead to environmental pollution. At
Pertwood we encourage our soil to retain its fertility by using 'slow release' forms of
nutrients such as well composted manures and clover or beans. We'll never turn away the chance
to convert local pig slurry into our crops food either. By re-cycling composts and other sources
of carbon into the soil, we steadily raise the soil's microbiological activity which improves
its powers of filtration. Without fail, with every passing year of being organic our soils look,
feel and simply are better.
No synthetic pesticides are used in organic farming. So to help prevent weeds from taking over,
we select crops and varieties that are vigorous and which smother weeds. We also control weeds
by using mechanical cultivations in combination with the weather for example when frosts are
forecast, as well as alternating forage crops with cereals. To control pests and disease we
select varieties that are naturally resistant. That's as well as regularly rotating our crops.