Wreaths for sale for the festive season 2019 from the farm
hand made using home grown conifers, eucalyptus, holly, and other foliage from the farm on a 12 inch frame decorated ready to adorn your festive door, or remember your loved one
MakeSoil is an online platform powering a global movement to make soil together on a planet-saving scale. Redefining composting as making soil, Soil Makers can easily and safely post their Soil Sites to our online map, and invite their neighbours and friends to contribute their food and yard scraps. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can use MakeSoil to find Soil Makers near them or start a Soil Site themselves. Together, we can reduce food waste, restore nutrients to our food, capture carbon in the ground, and beautify our neighborhoods.
We have several land management routes to support ourselves and our ecosystems into the future.
Creating Living Larders that can happen on a micro community level as well as on commercial agriculture / estate level will change our food ecosystems as well as creating massive carbon sequestration.
Repairing our soil biosphere : by many means including no dig gardening, forest gardens, regenerative agriculture and trees mixed is best.
Improving grasslands by regenerative livestock and no till agriculture that also gives us a lot of high quality low input protein, greens, etc as well as moving away from fossil fuel dependence for arable crops : chemicals, plastic, machinery, energy for drying, shipping, processing. As well as high dependence on water for irrigation.
Mixed woodland also gives us fruit, nuts, herbs, greens, vital mychorrizal activity that releases the as well as creating new micro habitats that allow more food species to be grown
The grasslands are the biggest carbon sink, the woodland the most long term stable.
We need all these, alongside the renewable energy, the reduction of plastic use and waste, and investment in innovation to find new solutions.. and each of us can do something to help right here, right now.
2019 – we are beginning to harvest tree hay for our sheep ..
So far we are limited by capacity of humans and space with what we can collect – hopefully both these will improve as I recover from my fibromyalgia, and we get to create more shelter.
There is so much bounty around. This is free food, for the labour.
It is also highly beneficial food, and more is being learned about additional benefits all the time.
The advice is to cut, bundle and dry the tree branches in a dark place to keep the most nutrition (otherwise our polytunnels would be a great place to hang the bundles!)
We have found that bundles need to be retied as they shrink.
Tannins in tree browse is an anthelminth – helps to keep worms away, affecting the instar stages of worms in the gut
Certain species are high in mineral – willow and zinc for instance.
We have lot to learn as to what our sheep will eat, what is most pallatible
A few notes
* nettles – leaves are cropped early, then seeds for ourselvs, after this then cropped to dry for tree hay.
* willow – we have a variety of species, some cut to feed green, the goat willow that we have coppiced in previous years is much more lush than older trees. The Viminalis is lush and so productive.
* alder is highly beneficial in our tree systems as it is a powerful nitrogen fixer, but is likely to be less useful for tree hay as it is not meant to be so edible.
* elder – we have started to regenerate our old elder trees, cutting some back really hard and they have just burst forth with masses of material. Elder is not meant to be particularly pallitable but it is certainly productive, and they have eaten it before, lets see what the winter brings.
* ash – a great fodder plant, we have several trees we will need to coppice as they are too close to power lines, so these will be a great source of tree hay in the future. Whilst it is not possible to buy ash because of the die back, we have a number here with seedlings popping up to be rehomed each year.
* aspen – is a tree hay plant livestock are meant to enjoy, we have some, and planting more, it is also so beautiful quivering in the wind.
* poplar – we have some really good big poplar trees that have been recently pollarded, and will be adding more to the hedgerows as they are fast growing, succulent and enjoyed by the sheep.
* hawthorn – whilst you have to be careful of the thorns of any of these plants the sheep love them .. more and more getting added to fencelines as well as fed over the fence through the summer.
* oak – we now have a number of lovely maturing oak trees, as well as new ones in the plantations, so will get more branches over the years to add to the variety in the tree hay.
* rowan – such a wonderful berry tree, but we have quite a bit growing so will be able to add some to the tree hay menu
* birch –
* beech –
Farming is not the biggest source of concern for carbon pollution but anyone who believes that farming cannot be part of the solution is just being irresponsible .. particularly if they have children.
and not just for the climate ..
We need to rebuild our soil – stopping ploughing, restore soil biosphere, add mychorrisal activity, add perennials,
We need to reduce our dependence and use of fossil fuels and everything that is made from them .. including plastic, chemicals, as well as fuels.
We need to reduce the use of chemicals to rebuild our health and that of our livestock, and ecosystems.
We need to reduce the water needed for growing bulk low nutrition foods
We need to reduce the processing involved in food before the consumer – drying, packaging, cooking,
We need to grow a lot more food within communities – including the urban areas.
We need to add far greater diversity back into our food ecosystems to include perennial crops : greens, fruit, herbs, nuts.
We need to reduce the amount of food we eat .. stop factory processed food .. reduce our gross waste of food .. cut out grains as far as possible.
We need to have better meat, fish, greens, fruit, nuts .. high nutrition means low inputs needed.
Farmers who act as irresponsibily as some post on farming social media groups deserve the contempt so many of the public treat them with..
Balsam of Gilead / Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera)) slips will also be available in the late winter.. please get in touch to order.
This is a wonderful fast growing, really leafy tree.
The scent as the buds break mean you really need to have this somewhere you walk by, but also the leaves are gorgeous as they waft in the wind from a distance.
It propagates from suckers, and is wonderfully prolific for tree hay, mulching, chipping, light firewood etc.
Crop from Balsam Poplar
– leaves and branches for tree hay
– pollinator / bee tree
– light firewood
– make more plants
– breaking buds for infusion
– highly aromatic
It is also renowned for healing properties, especially in the buds, which are harvested just before they open up.
The buds as they begin to break are reputedly highly potent when infused in oil and made into an ointment. They are wonderfully aromatic, and as they break the bees are highly attracted.
There is a growing noise about how bad meat production is, and how we should all be vegan / vegetarian.
Yet it is easy to see how wrong this is – and how [[[regenerative agriculture]]] supports our soil biosphere, as well as being carbon sequestering, and building our food ecosystems.
Grains / Pulses etc are also increasingly associated with our serious dis-ease through our society : obesity, diabetes, ME, ADD, MS, Fibromyalgia, Lupus etc..
Our arable soils are now so grossly depleted that they will not grow without massive inputs, but these do not add the essential micro-nutrient into our foods, and our bodies craving the missing nutrition means we now eat more and more .. with consequent health issues that ensure.
Why Grains production is so damaging is easy to see when you take a look at a few agronomy links .. here is just one :-
Mainstream Lentil production require
– land to be treated with weed and insect killers pre sowing
– land to be ploughed several times – destroying the soil biosphere.
– fertilizers, lime and other agro chemicals used before sowing
to be grown in rotation with other grains
– seed chemically treated before sowing
– herbicides,insecticides, fungicides through growing.
– irrigation through growing and cleaning
– All these processes along with harvesting, threshing, drying are all fossil fuel greedy
– then there is the packaging, shipping, repackaging, processing
If you are interested in getting some young trees, fruit or herbs taking advantage of much lower than retail prices please get in touch. We are putting in an order to several of our wholesale companies for our own planting and growing, and would be happy to combine orders for all our benefits. Prices will depend on numbers, but will be a lot less than retail.
We are not starting up the plant centre again, these will not be potted on, will need to be collected as they arrived, but we are happy to share the benefit of working together, combining our getting discounts from buying in numbers.
Trees from root-trainers : subject to availability when order placed – Prices will vary but most will be less than £2 per sapling.
American Red Oak
Common Crab Apple
Dark leaved willow
English Oak (native)
English Oak (selected)
Sessile Oak (selected)
Sessile Oak (native)
Wild Service Tree
Lodgepole Pine (ALP Qual)
N. Spruce (Xmas Tree)
Pacific Silver Fir