At Little Heath Farm we are passionate about sustainable farming, here are some examples of how we do this.
Farming With Nature
On the farm we leave large areas uncropped around our fields where we sow these pollen and nectar mixes. This creates a safe and popular habitat for our unsung farming heroes - Bees, Butterflies and all other insects and pollinators. Creating these habitats allows them to thrive, and in turn, pollinate our crops.
These images show the Bees hard at work - can you spot them?
Soil is the biggest absorbent of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) on the planet! Healthy soil absorbs CO2 which helps our crops to grow. Not only this, but removing CO2 from the atmosphere is great for the environment.
So, ensuring our soil is healthy underpins much of what we do. Here's how we look after our soil.
By growing different crops across seasons in the same fields, nutrients are returned to the soil without synthetic inputs, biodiversity is promoted on the farm and soil health is improved.
Between our main annual crops, we have windows to sow cover crops such as Kale and Turnips which feeds our cows and sheep. We also plant crops like Mustard (as pictured left). This manages nitrogen levels, reduces soil erosion, naturally controls weed growth and reduces soil compaction, which in turn keeps the soil fertile, feeding the next crop.
This minimises soil disturbance, by only loosening soil where the seed is going to be planted. Other benefits are the existing root structures left by the previous crop remain in place. This allows the soil to absorb more moisture, worms and insects space to move and the next crops roots to grow freely.
This is a traditional farming method which means our cows and calves are moved onto fresh herb rich grass every few days and do not return to the same area for about 45 days. The idea is the cows eat about 50% of the grass in each area, trample about 25% into the soil, creating organic matter which feeds the grass. And leave about 25% of the grass, providing cover for bird and insects all year round. This allows the soil to have a greater recovery period, allowing root systems to thrive and benefitting subsequent crops.