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 Cutting Edge (Bridport Times, July 2019)

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

Written by Ben Scriven

Organic farms are sometimes seen as trying to hold back the inexorable march of progress. People may perceive them as, at best, romantic traditionalism and, at worst, luddites clinging to obsolete practices. However, as society has grown more aware of some of the consequences of industrial agriculture, many of the traditional practices that were lovingly sustained by organic pioneers are being rediscovered by agriculture as a whole. Timeless lessons are being looked at anew and used to address issues of water pollution, food security, nutrition, soil degradation and erosion, flooding and nature conservation.

Continue reading “The Cutting Edge (Bridport Times, July 2019)”
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Woolly jumpers for woolly grazers (Bridport Times, June 2019)

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

Written by Leila Simon

Sheep grow wool. It is perhaps the feature which defines them most for people who are not part of the farming world. We need to shear them every year, taking off their wool and leaving them cool and comfortable for the summer, and making flystrike much less likely. Wool is also a valuable product: once vital to the English economy it was eclipsed first by cotton and then by artificial fibres. More recently, society is beginning to see its value again, using it not only as an eco-friendly alternative to polyester and nylon clothing, to start reducing the pollution of the oceans, but also as a replacement for glass fibre and plastic bubble-wrap. It is used in a wide variety of forms from building insulation to packaging: we send our meat boxes out packed in wool and we have our own wool spun as knitting yarn (see Bridport Times September 2018).

Continue reading “Woolly jumpers for woolly grazers (Bridport Times, June 2019)”
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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.

Continue reading “The Spice of Life (Bridport Times, May 2019)”
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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.

Continue reading “Beginnings (Bridport Times, April 2019)”
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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.

Continue reading “The Seeds We Sow (Bridport Times, March 2019)”

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