Friday, 10 May 2013

Visiting a Organic Farm

The UK homeschool group was invited to visit a local organic farm to see how it is run

Kids got to ride in this--very bumpy

But they loved it!

Farmer who owns the land which has been in his family for generations

Our first stop was to met the pigs.  We learned these all called English saddle back pigs and they are great meat pigs.  Yes, kids were informed that the pigs are breed and then butchered.  This news did not go over well with some of the children, however mine seemed ok with that (they love BACON to much to ever give it up)

This was the largest pig on the farm and is an American breed called Durac (spelling?)   The farmer likes to breed this pig with his English saddle backs and says the offspring produces a juicer meat:)

Next he took us out to his field and the children and I learned something new.  No pesticides or chemicals are used on this farm.  One of the way to replenish the ground is to rotate crops and plant white clover in the field when harvesting is done.  

We were told the clover roots (seen above) have little worts on them and that they help replenish nitrogen into the ground.  I am sure those of you who are real gardeners already know this, but I didn't:)

They are very big on conservation here in the UK so any area of the farm that is not useable they encourage wildlife.  Here  the soil is just to wet despite draining the land, so the farmer built several ponds and has a dragon fly reserve happening.  After 6 years he already has 12 out of the 18 dragon flies in his pond found in England, which makes him very happy.

Next we met his cows and again told they can end up in his butcher shop.  Here is where I admit to being a hypocrite, I love meat and could never give it up but I really don't want to have an image of the poor animals face in my mind while I am eating.

Another area of conservation is building hedges around the farm which serves several purposes.  One they are natural fences, two they are homes to ground dwelling birds, and three they act as a wind break for the crops.

No sooner then the farmer finished talking than we saw a pheasant  and a few partridges racing across the field as if to emphasize the point.
We had a great day out and learned a few new things about organic farming and raising animals the natural way.


  1. That looks amazing, great field trip!! Hannah would LOVE to visit an organic farm! Where is it?

    1. This was a local farm outside of Cambridge called Burwash Manor:)

    2. Ah, too far for us! I will have to investigate a local one :-)

  2. Awesome and fun! Looks like you guys learned so much!
    Funny comment - the knowledge of that pig's certain slaughter and love of bacon! Love it.

    I have to say, this was so intriguing and I'd love to visit an organic farm at some point with the kids. We live in an area that verges on rural...eastern LI....we're in a super congested section but once we drive just 5 miles east or so, it is wide open and farmland. This section of the country though is SO pretentious in terms of "organic" veg, fruit and such...there is even a separate section in the supermkts here for organic candy. It's insane. At this point, I'll be honest, my kids scoff at the term 'organic' ( so do hubby and I ) b/c we tend to see it used for anything and everything! Visiting a true organic farm and speaking with the owner would def inform us.
    Thanks, friend...hope all is well...enjoy your are probably busy packing!!

  3. Looks like a great trip! We have a lot of organic farms here, but then we live in Crunchy Town, so what can you expect. In fact, I'd hazard to guess that there are more organic farms than non-organic farms here.