We were thrilled to have Benjamin Rosen (a WWOOFer from Holland with an exceptional knowledge of soil science, soil microbiology and permaculture) stay with us at Rush Farm for a couple of days. Benjamin has put together a fantastic collection of photos with accompanying explanations, documenting his thoughts on the farm, and we wanted to share them with you to give an idea of farm life behind the scenes…
Rush Farm through the eyes of a WWOOFer
‘This is the homestead building. It is listed and may not be altered on the outside. This is the farm that inspired the BBC radio soap The Archers’
Tim, the resident cowman, unbailing haylage. He is a fully qualified bio-dynamic farmer.
Tipping the tractor: The bales of haylage are so heavy that the rear wheel of the tractor comes of the ground if the driver is not careful. Haylage is a very good source of fibre. Fibre is vital for the movement of food along the digestive system. Chewing haylage slowly is more desirable than a bucket of hard feed eaten in a couple of minutes. The hay is all farm grown and fermented to ensure pure organic practices are adhered to at all stages
All animals are grass fed and remain in the paddocks all year round. Sheep prefer to stay outdoors. Even in driving rain and freezing condition they will stay outside rather than enter a shelter. The colored markings show that these ewes are carrying: blue for single, red for twins and orange for triplets or more.
This is clearly an animal friendly farm. Sheep as usually too skittish to keep eating when a farm worker approaches so closely, but not on Rush Farm.
Although it is the middle of winter, healthy grass can be seen here. Rush Farm sows a 32 seed mix, including vetches and clover. Despite mineral depletion in the local soil these sheep do not show signs of the mineral deficiencies that might be expected. This is put down to the healthy soil microbiota and the rich paddock ecology.
Just look at these fat happy Herefords, with their big heads and curious eyes. These animals are not horned, calves remain with their mothers for a year, wholly organic haylage is fed to them in winter, and when possible the cattle are grass fed on multi-species seeded pastures.
A big thank you to Benjamin!
– Farmer Adrian