ORGANIC BEEF & LAMB
The farm is situated in the heart of the beautiful countryside between the High Weald and the Sussex Downs. The land is permanent pasture which means it has never been ploughed and is made up primarily of Wealden clay.
As the land is best suited to livestock production we chose to raise native Sussex beef and Romney sheep. These hardy, local breeds require minimal intervention and are perfectly suited to our environment and organic approach. There are even records of them being farmed in this area since 1066.
Within our farming practice we take responsibility for the whole process in the knowledge that the health of the soil, the wellbeing of the animals and the happiness of the people here affects the food we eat.
The herd consists of twelve cows, one bull and all their offspring. We let the calves reach full maturation, and they remain in the herd for up to three years.
The animals are out to pasture for nearly all the year, and come into the barns during the winter to ensure the land isn’t damaged for the next season. Cows are gentle giants, but they’ll do a good job of trampling a field in the wet winter months!
The cattle feed on grass when they are outside, and during the winter months they live off hay that we have produced ourselves from right here on the farm. We don’t buy in any feed or bedding from anywhere else, which means we have complete confidence in the traceability of all our inputs.
The native Sussex Cow is very placid and they make wonderful mothers. There is an air of contentment and relaxation surrounding the herd as they spend their days roaming across the farm.
Our flock of 60 Romney ewes are a resilient bunch who tend to only give birth to one lamb a year. This allows us to lamb at Easter time (as is tradition!) and also means they can lamb outdoors when the weather is usually kind. The Romneys also have very few complications when lambing.
One of the biggest challenges of farming with organic principles is not using wormers. Maximising the space for the sheep to roam and constantly giving them access to fresh pasture gives them exposure to a larger variety of microbes than is conventional, and we have found this greatly contributes to the building of natural immunity.
Nature knows best!
The sheep feed and live on the farm’s pasture all year round and are given hay only during the worst of the winter weather conditions.
We manage our pasture land carefully to ensure that there are a rich variety of grasses, using only the animals’ manure to promote its growth. We also carefully rotate the sheep and cattle across the farm to maximise the quality and quantity of grass.