It may seem a bit premature to be thinking about winter feed in March or April. However, farmers need to plan ahead and, being organic, we want to feed our animals as much as possible on our own produce. That is why we grow fields of kale to feed the cattle in winter and why we make hay and silage as additional winter feed.
This year we are trying something new : a barley and pea mix drilled in, which will then be undersown with grass and clover seed. This means that we shall be able to make silage from the immature barley and peas, harvesting them before the seeds ripen, to produce a highly nutritious winter feed.
As you can see in the pictures, Tom is using a modern, highly sophisticated seed drill to sow the peas and barley. In a couple of weeks time, just as these seeds are germinating, we shall sow grass and clover seed which will grow away under the protection of the faster growing barley and peas.
After the peas and barley have been harvested, we shall be able to graze the cattle on the growing grass and clover. Good autumn and winter feed for our animals….