Sunday, 11 February 2018 12:17

Farming & Environment

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Saling Grove farm essex

Farming 

We are a family business that has been caring for and cultivating the land for many generations.

Essex is proudly part of the 'grain basket' of the UK, where farming is predominately arable, although we do have a suckler herd (beef) and pedigree sheep on grassland areas. We adopt a multi-year crop rotation that mixes Winter and Spring drilling  to include crops such as Wheat, Barley, Oilseed Rape, Beans and Sugar Beet.

Our Feed Wheat can be exported from Tilbury or Erith docks based in Essex to anywhere in the world, whilst our Milling Wheat can be sent to British millers for bread or biscuit making.

Where the land is lighter, we tend to grow Malting or Feed Barley. Our Malting Barley can be used for beer or even whisky.

Oilseed Rape is harvested in the late summer and the crushed seeds release oil that is used in numerous foods as well as bio-fuels.

Our Sugar Beet is lifted out of the ground around Christmas and is sent to British Sugar's Bury St Edmunds factory in Suffolk to make sugar.

For decades, we have planted 'Cricket Bat' willow, as part of our woodland management plan. Typically grown for 15-20 years in wet areas by streams as willows love water, the trunks are cut down into sections and eventually made into cricket bats and used to make winning runs on cricket pitches around the world from Lord's to Melbourne Cricket Ground to Eden Gardens. Howzat!

Farm Conservation & Enivronment

With the demise of compulsory set-aside, the farm has choosen to maintain a diverse habitat through joining a series of environmental schemes such as ELS and HLS as well as working with national bodies such as Natural England and Campaign for Farmed Environment. For example, fields now have a six-meter un-cropped margin between the hedge and the crop, game cover strips are planted to provide food and insects for game birds and the establishment of 'beetle banks'.

Many hedges have now been coppiced and replanted where gaps have appeared, with no hedge cutting from end of February til beginning of August to allow the hedges to grow and bear fruit. 

 

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