Sustainablility, Prize Draw Winner announced, Special offer on BioDri
A sustainable future:
Since moving to Mantel Farm we have always tried to live as sustainably as possible - this does not mean we can claim to be self sufficient, but wherever possible we will consider the environement and our impact on it. When we first arrived there were already 40ish chickens on the farm providing more than enough eggs for us and a few locals that called regularly. We planted a huge vegetable patch and enjoyed fruit from the many bushes and trees already here. We soon ventured into rearing chickens and pigs for our meat, and for many years we had a stand at the local farmers market selling eggs, meat, jams and preserves. I'm sure most of our friends and family back then thought we had gone completely mad! Sustainabilty and self sufficiencly are thankfully being talked about alot more these days, but 17 years ago it was not really on peoples minds. More recently we have installed solar panels on our barn roof ,we run a fully electric van for our local deliveries and have set up a bee apiary. However, due to the development of our business and pressures of everyday life (paying the bills!), we now seem to have more nettles than vegetables! After attending a recent talk by Michael Wachter of Great Dixter we feel happier that the nettle patch is helping the environment and not something we should fret about.
It is great then to see so many people and organisations getting together to help the environment. The plastics problem has been highlighted by David Attenborough and again by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, we have seen protests by the Extinction Rebellionin London against climate breakdown, biodiversity loss, and the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse, and the UK Parliament has finally decared a climate change emergency. So even with our busy lives, there is now so much we can all do to help, be it just a little time to join a protest, using less plastic, producing our own food or simply leaving the lawn uncut for periods so the wildlife can enjoy the flowers.
Our local organisations are also playing a big part in making a difference and raising awareness. We are lucky to be involved with a really active environment group in Crowhurst, linking to other organisations including Great Dixter Gardens, the local Beekeeping Association, RSPB, Combe Valley Countryside park and others. So if you would like to know how you can also get involved or would like to set something up in your local area please visit their website for info and links.. more details below.
The Crowhurst Environment Group aims to promote, encourage and monitor biodiversity in the parish of Crowhurst through events, practical projects and partnerships working alongside wardens and organisations. As a group of villagers, we wish to create and manage sustainable wildlife friendly habitats; increase connectivity; encourage and enhance biodiversity.
BioDri is a super absorbent powder to extend the life of bedding. Sprinkle on the flooring of your chicken run. Add 1 cup per square merter on top of animal bedding to absorb liquids and ammonia gas, inhibiting the growth and spread of bacteria and other harmful organisms.
There is a new worry for beekeepers - the arrival of the Asian Hornet or Vespa velutina - an invasive, non-native species from Asia. It arrived in France in 2004 and has spread repidy as a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial speciess. If you find one you must report it......
At last it looks as though the weather is improving; not a minute too soon. The first blackberries were in flower on 30th May, however, I have noticed no significant nectar coming in so far, on the rainy days they were probably eating it all ...
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