We’ve been planting grass and wildflower margins at the edges of the fields to create pathways to walk around and we’ve also sown our Dry Land Herbal Ley in one of the arable fields. The seeds were broadcast with a spinner before rolling in. For many years the 11 acre field was used for growing barley so the soil has been rather neglected and the aim is that the herbal ley, which will be down for 4 years, will help to remedy this. We will be watching the growth of the different species contained in the ley with much interest. It rained all day after we planted it so we’re expecting to see the first shoots in a week or so. Since there’s a water source nearby, the plan is to manage the field with livestock, mob grazing with sheep.
We’re hoping to harvest seeds from the sainfoin crop in the polytunnel, so we’ve introduced bumble bees to pollinate the plants.
The wildflower field is blooming with cowslips, red clover, tufted vetch, lady’s smock, buttercups, yellow rattle, birdsfoot trefoil, sorrel, hedge bedstraw and bee orchids, growing among the sweet vernal grass, meadow foxtail, and other meadow grasses.
The sheep are grazing well on the lush spring growth, with the lambs growing particularly strongly, along with the ewes which we will be shearing soon.