Tamarisk Farm Blog

A why, wherefore, and howto of an Organic family farm on the Jurassic Coast

A series of newsletters, recipes, and other such things

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Real Bread Week (Bridport Times, February 2019)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

Written by Rosie Gilchrist

If you were to wander into elevenses at Tamarisk Farm there is a fairly high chance you’d encounter some home-made bread being eaten, with some accompanying ‘bread chat’. The chat arises because once you start baking ‘real bread’ it can get pretty geeky; every loaf can be analysed and deliberated over. It also turns out that, in growing several good grains and processing them here on the farm, we are doing something quite uncommon. It attracts a small but keen community of bakers and bread and grain enthusiasts. We grow well-chosen, mostly old, varieties that have not been over- bred for the modern baking industry, mill them on an old stone mill here at the farm, and sell directly to loyal customers at the farm shop and a few other locations.

Continue reading “Real Bread Week (Bridport Times, February 2019)”
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Horsing Around (Bridport Times, January 2019)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

Every day we  check the animals, several different groups in all their different places around the farm. Our fields have thick hedges and scrub patches and the ground has hollows and rises. All this can make it difficult to be sure you have found them all. It can take several scans across the field to be certain you’ve not miscounted. This no longer feels like a chore when combined with a self indulgent pleasure of doing the work on horseback.

Continue reading “Horsing Around (Bridport Times, January 2019)”

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Putting the garden to bed (Bridport Times, November 2018)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

I often get asked by people what on earth I grow over the winter. There is a pretty strong misconception that not much can manage over winter, and although it’s true that there is less variety of things that grow, and that what is in the ground really slows down, there is still a lot that’s harvestable and a lot to do in the garden regardless!

Continue reading “Putting the garden to bed (Bridport Times, November 2018)”

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Hardy Country (Bridport Times, October 2018)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

When we took on the conservation grazing land at Cogden in 1995 we changed our herd of mixed  cattle with its wonderful array of colours and shapes to mahogany coloured, deep bodied pedigree Red Ruby Devons. These  hardy animals (also called North Devons) are particularly known for living outside all year round on the wild coast and moors of North Devon and Somerset, but have been local to this part of Dorset too. Continue reading “Hardy Country (Bridport Times, October 2018)”

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Homespun (Bridport Times, September 2018)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

We do complicate our lives by having a lot of different breeds of sheep. Each is a different colour, has specific needs and their own rams. And they have very different personalities.

We did not select them all for good hard-headed business reasons.We chose the Herwicks (our most recent breed) in a reminiscent mood: we lived in Cumbria early in our married life where we saw and loved them when walking and climbing in the fells. Continue reading “Homespun (Bridport Times, September 2018)”

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A Necessary Obsession (Bridport Times, August 2018)

We write monthly for the magazine Bridport Times. To see this article as originally published, view the pages on Issue.

The weather is a British obsession. “Oh isn’t this rain terrible?” “It’s so cold!” “Could you believe the wind this morning? Blew my washing all over the garden”… But even more than that, it is a farmer’s obsession.

For winter crops we want late summer rain to allow early cultivation after harvest, and dry to kill the weeds before we sow seeds; we don’t want saturated or cold soil over the winter but we do want some sharp cold to kill some of the bugs. We want a warm moist early season to get a good leafy growth on the wheat then Continue reading “A Necessary Obsession (Bridport Times, August 2018)”

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