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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The Spice of Life (Bridport Times, May 2019)

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

Written by Ellen Simon

When I was a child, the only other farm in the village changed from being a mixed farm to an entirely arable farm. I don’t recall exactly when we stopped seeing the cows walking past the house for milking morning and evening and stopped seeing the milk-churns every day waiting on the solid stand of railway sleepers for collection by the milk lorry. Looking back, I can make an intelligent guess about it: I think it very likely that the farmer’s choice to stop dairying tied up with that collection of milk.

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Beginnings (Bridport Times, April 2019)

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

Written by Ellen Simon

Our cows’ main job is to be mothers, and they are very good at it. We can recognise the start of each cow’s mothering by hearing her talk to her young one. She will start when she is beginning labour and uses her special mother’s voice only for the next day or two. As human beings we raise the pitch of our voice when we speak to our babies. Cows lower theirs, making a very particular sound, one we never hear at any other time. If we hear the characteristic quiet, brief lowing as we go out in a darkening evening to check the cattle, we know for certain that there will be a calf newly dropped or one about to appear. It’s a mother calling for her little one.

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The Seeds We Sow (Bridport Times, March 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

Without seeds a vegetable garden has few plants and without plants there are no vegetables to eat, and that would be a very sad thing. Choosing seeds, sowing and nurturing them feels like the foundation of a vegetable garden. There are some vegetables such as tubers and cuttings that we propagate by other means but certainly most vegetables are annuals, grown from seed every year. With equal certainty, seed propagation is one of my favourite jobs around the market garden.

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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.

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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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