Farming & Food
Grass provides the perfect diet for cattle and sheep. It is all they need to produce nutritious, healthy meat for people to cook and eat.
But grass can be tricky to manage. Its one aim in life is to grow, produce a seed head and then die. Only skilled grassland farmers can manage it to produce high quality animal food throughout the year – grazed out in the fields or given as conserved winter-feed, either dried as hay or pickled as silage.
The people I write about in these blogs are some of the best and most innovative farmers and chefs in the world. They look after their soils, their land and their animals and take great care to source and prepare the best meat possible. We should be proud of them all.
A Touch of Grass is the somewhat weighty, but fascinating account of Alan Kyle’s life. A pioneering farmer born in 1937 in Northern Ireland, he has drawn the words from diaries he wrote from 1952 until retirement in 1999, and includes hundreds of photos of the farms, animals, machines and people through the ages – on this side of the world and in New Zealand too.
Bravo to BBC1s Jules Hudson for taking the time to explore the difference between summer ‘fresh grass-fed’ milk, and winter milk in an episode of CountryFile Summer Diaries this week. He visited an iconic ice cream parlour on the Gower in South Wales, where the ice cream you buy is never more than four hours old and always made with the freshest ingredients, including milk from Janet Davey’s 380 cows.
Feeding and finishing his cattle on just grazed grass and silage makes perfect sense to organic farmer, Hugh Grierson who farms in Tibbermore, near Perth in Scotland. On a recent edition of BBC Landward programme, Hugh invited top chef Nick Nairn to see his cattle and to examine the meat sold from the on-farm butchery.
Last week I went on a grass identification course run by the National Plant Monitoring Scheme (NPMS). This is a habitat-based plant monitoring scheme designed by the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Plantlife...
First of all I am so sorry there has been a gap on posting blogs over the past few months! I am developing a new TalkingGrass blog with an online shop called Grassy and Green and was hoping to launch this spring. Unfortunately it is taking a bit longer than...
The programme cover of the Oxford Real Farming Conference urges its delegates to ‘Enjoy and get involved’, and that is exactly what nearly 800 people did last week at the Oxford Town Hall. Whilst the heritage Oxford Farming Conference (70 years of age this year), was...