First of all we have finished harvesting – yippeeeeee! It was a pretty challenging time for us as although the weather was mostly dry which was brilliant our new combine had serious issues dealing with the grass seed crop which caused crop loss and a few very fractious farmers and a lot of head scratching from the combine manufacturer and agent. Secondly as part of being a focus farm for the Duchy we have been looking at all sorts of environmental issues – and you dear customer are already a part of this with our “Hedge Fund”. We are aiming to plant 4000 hedge plants over this winter period with the aim of delivering supporting wildlife, carbon sequestration and flood mitigation. Secondly – and led by Monty who has been back on the farm for several years we have been investigating how to improve our soil with the aim to help the farm become more resilient to more extreme weather events (which we have had in bucket loads…) and also to reduce our reliance on chemicals and fertiliser which is a huge challenge when our farm is a specialist seed producer (as obviously the seed can’t be contaminated with weed seeds etc).
Regen Ben says:
For about a 4000 years, ploughing has been the mainstay of agriculture, the problem is for 3920 years of this, the ploughs were pulled by animals who had huge limitations which meant ploughing was only a very shallow operation, this kept the soil biology in an aerobic situation and soils continued to function well. Over the past 80 years, with the anything but ‘green’ revolution, farms became larger which meant machinery got bigger, bigger heavier machinery pulling larger and larger ploughs deeper and deeper (In order to plough wider with a plough, you have to go deeper) This subsequently destroyed the living soil biology together with the invention of chemical fertilisers and pesticides."