A conventional farm

Today has been Open Farm Sunday, where members of the public get the opportunity to visit a farm that is part of the scheme to learn about where their food comes from.

I could have been at either Edibles, which I would have visited as part of the PDC, or Old Sleningford Farm, which I would ordinarily have gone to for the volunteer workday. However, I chose to stay close to home.

Green Field Produce may operate in a different way from an organic or permaculture farm but that is not to say it lacks merit. After all, it is producing food. And it is interesting to compare how they might do it in comparison with the aforementioned.

One of the differences is the amount of machinery.

Combine harvesters are a no-no in certain settings. The one pictured above has wheels which have been designed to reduce compaction. According to the farmer, summers are getting shorter, so it isn’t always possible to get the wheat in before the soil becomes too wet for such heavy machinery.

Weeds are also something which might be handled differently elsewhere. Apparently, they attract pests. So, to avoid herbicides, this farm has a machine with a computer to do the weeding for it.

Being in the Rhubarb Triangle, it is fitting there was a rather large amount of the stuff at this farm. Sadly, even nearby supermarkets have been buying it from other countries rather than from local farms. And the lot we saw beng picked was going to Belgium to be frozen because there were no longer any facilities here to do so.

On the other hand, the farm sells its own grass-fed animals. I had wondered if the fields of grass had been left fallow to rest the soil but it turns out the grass is purposely grown to feed the animals in winter.

Also, by law, the edges of fields must remain unfertilised, so that they can be a wildlife haven. Maybe more hedgerows could be put back in but it would seem that some things are going in the right direction.


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Good for the environment, Social, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A conventional farm

  1. I can’t imagine a machine weeding! That really surprised me about the rhubarb ..

  2. mybrightlife says:

    So interesting. Technology is amazing. I was really please to read about the edges left at wildlife havens…someone is thinking smart!

    • Helen says:

      I don’t know if the government has been forced to bring in legislation or if they have actually been thinking. There is a lot wrong in farming but it isn’t necessarily the individual farmer’s fault.

      Anyway, I’m glad you appreciated the post 😊.

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