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Herbal Leys and F. Newman Turner

If there is one man who’s inspired and influenced the work of Cotswold Seeds and guided the company’s product development it’s Frank Newman Turner, (1913 – 1964) a pioneering farmer and author who believed in ‘health from the soil up’. His books, including the seminal ‘Fertility Pastures’ have recently been repackaged and republished and are now available again in the UK. 

F Newman Turner was born in 1913 and was ahead of his time, addressing many of today’s most pressing and widely debated environmental and agricultural issues regarding our environment.  He was one of a small band of visionaries who were not afraid to challenge the prevailing dogmas and laid the foundations for the modern environmental revolution. He always maintained that health began in the soil, something which we passionately believe in at Cotswold Seeds.

Newman Turner was one of the great advocates of herbal leys. He described the herbal ley as his “fertiliser merchant, food manufacturer and vet all in one”. Which neatly sums up the advantages of the Herbal Ley.

In ‘Fertility Pastures’ Turner details his methods of intensive pasture-based production of beef and dairy cows in a practical guide to profitable, labor-saving livestock production. He developed a system of complex "herbal ley mixtures," or blends of pasture grasses and herbs, with each ingredient chosen to perform an essential function in providing a specific nutrient to the animal or enhancing the fertility of the soil. He explains his methods of cultivation, seeding and management. There are also chapters on year-round grazing, making silage for self-feeding, protein from forage crops and pastures for pigs and poultry. He also details the roles individual herbs play in the prevention and treatment of disease.

Herbal Grazing Ley

Based on Newman Turner’s original recommendations, our Herbal Grazing Ley is an all round mixture provides wholesome and substantial forage for grazing and occasional cutting. It can provide grazing for early turnout and continues to produce forage right through the summer and autumn. Containing deep-rooting ingredients, this ley not only improves soil structure but also draws up essential vitamins and minerals for the ruminant animal.

Newman Turner’s books are published by Acres USA and available through Amazon.

Date Posted: 27th August 2014