Farm News: Getting back to the land with Coombe Farm Organic


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Food, it has all become a bit complicated – we’ve made it super
simple…
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News From the Farm



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GETTING BACK TO THE LAND WITH COOMBE FARM ORGANIC


Food.
It’s all become a bit complicated. What we
should eat, how much we should eat, what we definitely
shouldn’t eat. The news is full of it and it
changes from week to week, if not from hour to hour. Everyone has
an opinion and very few of them agree. It’s
exhausting, and, if we’re speaking plainly, the
tiniest bit boring.
 
At Coombe Farm Organic  we have a philosophy
that’s pretty simple. We work organically and
sustainably because we think it’s important to
produce and eat food that’s honest and
uncomplicated, that comes from animals and soil that have been
treated with respect. There’s nothing fancy
about what we do, in fact it’s quite old
fashioned. The words
‘organic’,
‘traceable’ and
‘sustainable’ are modern ways
of describing food that’s produced in a certain
way, to defined standards, with a view to managing resources for
now and the future. But at the heart of all of those concepts is
actually a traditional way of farming. A way that understands
working with the land is give and take, that getting the most from
animals is about working in partnership and that nature and the
elements have more to offer than chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Working in this way might not always be the easiest or the most
convenient, but we don’t mind a bit of hard work
in return for healthy land, contented animals and good-for-you
food.
 
There are a few important things about the way we work that make us
especially proud.
 
Firstly, we’re powered by the sun. Whatever we
plug in at Coombe Farm runs from electricity produced by our own
solar array. So when the West Country sun shines, it recharges our
batteries in more ways than one.
 
Secondly, we’ve made an asset out of dairy
calves. Coombe Farm started off in dairy and
it’s still at the heart of our business. But
something didn’t sit easy: to get milk you must
have calves, many of which are surplus to requirement in
traditional systems. Full-bred dairy calves
don’t produce great meat –
they’re all about the udder and less muscular
than beef animals. To avoid the need to cull bull calves and excess
heifer calves, we thought laterally. We now run our beef and dairy
systems side by side, crossing Friesian dairy cows with Shorthorn
beef bulls to produce stocky, muscly calves. That means our cows
still give us top-quality, creamy milk and their calves grow up to
produce our tasty beef.
 
Thirdly, we believe that muck is magic. Cow muck, that is. When
you’ve got a herd of cows,
you’ve always got plenty of muck, so we use it
to fertilize our fields. When we wash down the milking parlour
(which we do after every milking) we don’t let
the water run down the drain. We mix it with muck to make a slurry
that our fields thrive on. Pretty much as our grandfathers and
great-grandfathers would have done. No chemical fertilizers needed
here, thank you. As well as growing lush grass to nourish our
livestock, healthy permanent pastureland has an added bonus.
Deep-rooted grasses and clovers stabilise the topsoil, minimising
run-off and delivering nutrients deep underground. Pastureland acts
as a ‘carbon sink’, drawing
unwanted CO2 out of the atmosphere and converting it to
food for its roots. It’s a nifty cycle and one
that wouldn’t work without a liberal application
of good old-fashioned cow poo.
 
Though we like to be old-fashioned about many things, one thing
we’re very modern (and serious) about is our
responsibility as a food producer. That’s why
we’re chuffed with Coombe
Farm’s organic certification.
We’re inspected annually and that shows you, the
consumer, that we’re up to scratch against a
very high standard. You can be certain we know exactly where every
item we sell has come from, that our animals have been treated with
decency and respect, and our meat is all 100% West Country grown.
You’ll know your meat is free range, grass fed
and untainted by chemicals. Some people think that organic and
sustainable are just gimmicks, marketing ploys, a bunch of catch
phrases strung together. We think if you taste our meat,
you’ll be converted. It speaks for
itself.


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AH Warren Trust Ltd · Coombe Farm ·
Crewkerne, Somerset TA18 8RR · United Kingdom

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