Updated: Nov 30, 2020
The recent great weather we have been having (plus the occasional downpour!) can only mean one thing; it is harvest time!
Farmers are busy collecting crops from their fields, using cutting edge satellite guided tractors and giant combine harvesters, however down on the farm in North Marston we are enjoying a quieter few weeks! This is because we have sown cover crops this year. A ‘cover crop’ might not be a term you are familiar with; but in simple terms it is a crop that is planted to cover the soil. But it does so much more than that: it helps manage soil erosion, it improves soil fertility and quality, it will sequester carbon to help in the fight of greenhouse gas emissions, it can fight weeds reducing the need for chemicals and it improves biodiversity and wildlife. This year we planted a mixed species cover crop, consisting of Oats, Vetch and Mustard seed. All of this ultimately, improves soil health.
A healthy soil supports a whole array of life too small to see; bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes, which all interact to provide the plant’s root structure with the necessary nutrition to allow the plant to flourish. In fact more microbes live in a handful of healthy soil than people live in Africa!
Healthy soil is not only important for growing great plants, but there is growing evidence linking healthy soil to healthy people. Studies have shown an increase in nutritionally available minerals in meat from animals that have grazed on regenerative farms.
This is one of the main reasons we started Flocks and Fields: to provide our friends, family and neighbours with nutritionally dense and ethical food. We hope you enjoy our lamb as much as we do!