Happy New Year

07 January 2020

Welcoming in the new decade with excitement and following a well-earned rest for everyone over the festive season, the team are fully refreshed, and we look forward to a positive year ahead.

We are delighted to introduce Mick Shaw who has joined the team as Livestock and Pasture Manager. Mick has made the move north from Norfolk to manage the growing livestock enterprises and develop our grassland management strategy to extend our grazing season and transition to a fully Lincoln Red herd.

Also joining the team is Robby Ruffles, who joins us from Suffolk and will be Mick’s assistant. Together, they will be a huge asset to Balcaskie, and we look forward to starting the new year and new calving/lambing season with them both.

Our Bowhouse Christmas Market in mid-December was a huge success with over 5500 people attending the two days. Balcaskie returned, selling organic beef, lamb and venison with great feedback from customers who had previously bought and tasted our produce, giving confidence to press on with our direct sales.

Conscious that many of the real Christmas trees are not recycled and with growing concern over our environment, we have been collecting trees after the festive period at Bowhouse. The trees will be shredded and composted, with the end result being used in the growing plots and soil around Bowhouse. This means that the carbon captured during the tree’s growth will be retained in the soil and not lost to landfill or burning.

On the farm this month, we are busy taking farmyard manure out of the cattle sheds to be spread onto grassland and crops in the organic rotation to replace fertility harvested in previous years. We still have some cows out grazing where we are experimenting with a new system which utilises hay baled last summer, rolled out in a small paddock each day. The cows move every day to prevent soil becoming “poached” or compacted. As we learn from this technique, we will extend to almost all cows, reducing the need to cart out manure and spend time and energy feeding and bedding each day. The cows will be almost self sufficient…

Happy New Year.

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