This week the sheep have arrived from our neighbouring farm to graze at FarmED over the coming months, as they do every summer. They’re currently enjoying the rye and vetch and will then be moved to the Cotswold Seeds’ yellow trefoil and white clover intercrop mixture, which was grown under last year’s wheat crop.
This low growing mixture fills the base of a main crop brassica or cereal without affecting its yield. Its strong growth reduces weed competition, adds organic matter and fixes nitrogen - it can make available up to 125 kg N per hectare for the following crop. White clover is a perennial plant with a similar low growing habit to yellow trefoil and is slightly slower to establish but can get very strong in late summer when yellow trefoil slows. This strong growth can eliminate many weeds. The overwinter bird seed mixture in the adjacent field has also greened up nicely so the sheep will certainly have plenty to eat.
Meanwhile the heritage wheat is doing well, the fruit trees in the orchard are blossoming, the hawthorn is coming out along the field margins and the bees have been very busy! The plot of white dead nettle is proving very popular with pollinators and we spotted a relatively uncommon Hairy Footed Flower Bee with very full pollen sacks.