We greatly appreciate the amount of interest expressed by the general public in our activities as an organic farm.
Philosophically we approach the challenges very much on the basis that we remain constantly in tune with nature. We take no action which is unnecessary and which harms our environment in any way.
i.e. the flora and flora, insects, birds and animals. Organic farming requires a huge tolerance for nature in its broadest form. Our crops look like natural plants rather than programmed high yielding stimulated examples of specialized cereals etc. We will demonstrate this as the weeks go by and as we are able to provide photographic evidence to support this particular ethos.
The picture below shows one of our tractors topping Plough Down North which is a field in part of the ancient Wiltshire down lands. Immediately adjacent to this field are our ancient Celtic farm systems which we will be commenting on in the future. The field in question was left fallow for a year to rest. It has now been topped to prepare for the cultivation and then shortly thereafter the planting of Sanfoin. Sanfoin is an old legume variety similar to lucerne. This crop will remain established for seven years to enable it to provide us the maximum benefit in terms of building soil fertility. It is an excellent forage crop and will from time to time be cut or grazed by livestock . Essentially this crop has been planted for the good of the soil.
Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) is a perennial cool-season legume used for forage production. It is an introduced species, brought over from from France in 1652. It is a non-bloating legume suitable for hay and pasture. The flowers grow in densely packed racemes, with upright hairless hollow stems. It has alternate, pinnate leaves, with 6-12 pairs of narrow leaflets, similar in appearance to those of a vetch. The plant grows to around 40cm tall.
Lower Pertwood was a conventional farm going back 30 years or more the soil health was depleted and the organic matter dropped to levels which made it difficult for the other key elements of soil health development to bind together. Improving the organic matter in the soil is therefore our number one priority and putting this field down to a long term sanfoin / fescue lay will ensure that it will perform well as an arable field in the future .
It is near the highest elevation on the farm which means it is extremely stony, flinty and as a result hard on our implements.
Everything we do depends on how things develop and how nature decides to influence outcomes.