Saturday, February 07, 2009

Farm for the Future - Fordhall Farm on TV!


Farm for the Future - Friday 20th February BBC 2 8pm.

Rebecca Hosking finds out how she can make her families wildlife
friendly farm in Devon, a low energy farm for the future and
discovers that nature holds the key. As part of her journey throughout the UK, she visits Charlotte Hollins at Fordhall Farm.

With her father near to retirement Rebecca Hosking returns to her
family’s wildlife friendly farm in Devon, to become the next
generation to farm the land.

But last years high fuel prices were a wake up call for Rebecca.
Realising that all farming and food production in the UK is
completely dependent on abundant cheap fossil fuel – particularly oil
- Rebecca sets out to discover just how secure is this oil supply.
She is met with some alarming answers, which drive her to find ways
of farming without using fossil fuel.

By seeking advice from experts, pioneer farmers and growers, Rebecca
learns that is actually nature that holds the key to farming in a low
energy future.

Rebecca's story is fantastic, and we wish her the best of luck with her new and exciting venture on her families farm. The future for farmers is indeed in a time of change. Farmers must find new ways to be sustainable, and many of these will probably rely on the knowledge and experience of our ancestors, who new that caring for and working with nature was paramount to their success. This is an issue that effects us all and a programme that will be fascinating to watch.
Charlotte Hollins

2 comments:

Ciara Lee said...

Hello,

I saw your farm on this lovely programme a few weeks ago. I was just wondering whether you could give me any information on where to source the blends of grass seed? Could you tell me if the ground needs to be plowed before it is sown?

Kind Regards,
Ciara Lee

The Fordhall Team said...

Hi

Thank you for your enquiry about grasses at Fordhall.
Unfortunately, our grasses have been established over many years and so we
do not have a complete grass mix that we can recommend.

We are having some surveys done at the moment, but in the meantime the
best I can do is to refer you to a document written by our late father
about his research. Follow the link below and then click on the link on
the right hand side of the web page.

http://www.fordhallfarm.com/history.html

What I would say, is that the mix of grasses will be your foundation but it will also be only half the work. The only way to build a good sward is through careful organic management over a number of years. Dad developed our system over 40 years ago and it was only just before he died that he felt he had reached a point he was happy with. It will be a long journey
and you will have to be patient with it, but if you watch what your
grasses are doing and pay attention to the health of your soil, I am sure you will be fine.

Good Luck

Charlotte

p.s I would avoid ploughing wherever possible. Grass will germinate and spread under a thin mulch and it will break the ground up for you. Ploughing will only encourage more weeds.