We believe that organic food means better food. Food that has been grown with a conscientious wish to preserve and improve the natural environment in which it was farmed. Food that looks after the animals on our farms as much as those people who are able to enjoy the produce we offer. Food that’s better for us, and better for our world.
Our food does not require the destruction of natural order, the persistent use of antibiotics or the spreading of chemicals over our land. Our naturally diverse environment needs a little nurturing to help it thrive and provide us with naturally nutritious soils to sustain crop and livestock.
Organic food offers a better deal for all; including those who simply choose to eat it. Absent of harmful chemicals and packed with higher levels of important nutrients, we think enjoying organic food is a no brainer.
Under organic standards, we will never administer routine antibiotics or preventative treatment. However, should an animal require veterinary attention or treatment we will always act in the best interests of that animal, including issuing antibiotics where necessary. Under organic regulation, the treated animal must then see out an extended withdrawal period, to ensure that antibiotic resistance does not enter the food chain. This applies in both organic dairy and meat production.
All sheep and cattle reared here on our farm are grass fed for life. Simply because this is the way things are meant to be - the digestive system of these grazing animals is designed to digest grass, clovers and other leafy matter. Despite this, very few animals are fed on pasture alone, as conventional farming prioritises producing meat and milk as quickly as possible. To do this, animals are fed things like cereals and imported soya, with animals spending much of their life indoors.
Here on our farm, and the selected organic farms we work with, we make the most of our natural pasture to keep animals fed and enjoying the outdoors for as much of the year as possible. When the time comes for animals to come into the sheds during the winter months, they are fed on a diet of preserved pasture like silage and hay.
Feeding our animals on a natural pasture fed diet, free from growth hormones and grain designed to pack on weight, means our animals live a longer life on the farm, growing at a slower, more natural pace. These animals are given the freedom to express their normal behaviours in a more natural environment, foraging and grazing outdoors. Because of this, they are also less likely to suffer from disease associated with indoor living and therefore require very little veterinary attention or antibiotics.
Pasture fed meat and milk is proven to have:
This natural diet means the animal looks and feels better, as well as producing less methane than when they are fed a concentrated cereal and soya diet – so both animal and environment are winners.
In order to achieve our organic and grass fed goals, the breeds we rear are incredibly important. We are passionate about working with now rare, heritage breeds. These include our personal favourite, the beautiful traditional Aberdeen Angus, as well as Devon Reds and Shorthorn cattle. These are generally smaller beasts than the enormous overbred cattle you so often see on large scale, intensive farms, bred for their large mass and early maturation. Our heritage breeds are able to grow at a slower rate and maintain a healthy weight on diet of pasture alone, while more commercial cross breeds need significant grain feed to grow and finish.
Our heritage breeds are also much hardier, able to thrive on our Dartmoor pasture and the grasses that the clay clad soil provides. Best of all, they have lovely temperaments; they are inquisitive and friendly, even the bulls!