J.Etches and sons working the plough down to a fine tilth with their rotary harrow. It will be sown with our home-grown red clover seed. This 55 acre block of land at the Common will grow a clover and grass mixture that will be cut as silage and used to feed our cattle over the winter. At the same time the clover, being a legume, will build up the fertility of the soil ready for the next rotation when it will return to growing wheat again in 3 or 4 years’ time.
There has been a recent rush by local farmers to install their solar photovoltaic panels before the end of December in order to get the higher subsidy payments that are due to be reduced on January 1st. We have joined them – thanks to being prompted by Simon Wright of Lamb Farm in East Guldeford, near Rye (you can follow Simon’s topical reports on farming issues on http://www.ryenews.org.uk )
Most of the installations are being done by BeBa energy http://www.beba-energy.co.uk/. They also installed the panels on the roof of Hobbs Parker Market building in Ashford. This may have encouraged the recent enthusiasm for Solar Power amongst the local agricultural community.
Some lucky farmers are putting 50-100 Kw arrays on their barns. Simon and I were restricted to 18 Kw installations as the local electrical grid, managed by UK Power Networks, was unable to handle any more than this from our farms.
We did the maths on this project and it proved to be such a good investment that Natwest Bank were happy to lend us the money to pay for it at a very reasonable interest rate. It seems a very good idea for any business with suitable roofs to take advantage of this opportunity. BeBa tells me that very soon the UK will have 5 Gw of solar power installed and the rate of installations is growing. 5Gw is about 20% of the total average UK electricity demand and 50% of the current nuclear power output (when the sun is shining).
Recent changes to the subsidy payments has made ground mounted solar much less attractive so we may not see so many solar farms but maybe more roofs instead.
I am looking forward to charging my electric car from the new panels.
We have been really pleased with the enthusiasm of our customers for more organic lamb. Our October delivery has sold out and we are now taking orders for delivery in November.
Please get in touch with Jack if you are interested. email us or call 01797 280 282 and leave a message or use the form below.
Lamb can be collected from the farm or we can deliver locally.
We are now taking orders for lamb.
The price for half a lamb (approx 10 Kilos) is £70
All the cuts are individually vacuum packed and labelled.
If you want smaller joints you can have the leg and shoulder halved – please specify otherwise they will be whole.
The lamb boxes can be collected from the farm or we can deliver locally. The next batch will be ready for collection around the 15th of October.
Dr Nikki Gammans and Larry Cooke took a group of farmers for a fascinating tour of Larry’s farm on the Romney marsh. Years of traditional hay making and sheep grazing without the use of artificial fertilisers has resulted in beautiful species rich grassland. Larry’s farm is part of an almost continuous interconnected mosaic of habitat stretching right across the marsh from Rye to Deal – ideal for the bumblebees – including the formerly extinct short haired bumblebee recently re-introduced by Nikki at RSPB reserve Dungeness.