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How It All Began

Dot Appleby –
April 27, 2023

IN THE BEGINNING

It all began with how to clear the ground. We started with a paddock, recently used to graze livestock and heavy with grass, thistle and dock.

The sustainable option here is a slow process. The spray-free method isn’t the easy road, without the use of nasty herbicides it’s simply hard graft from start to finish.

The short version is that you effectively suffocate the grass. You lay good quality (so it’s reusable) silage tarpaulins on top of the ground you wish to smother and wait. The thick black plastic creates a warm environment underneath that encourages new growth. When this growth occurs, the lack of water and light kills the plant from the leaf to the root and eventually (4-6 months later depending on the time of year) this creates a clear bed, perfect for planting in to. As we wanted to plant the area immediately we layered cardboard and mushroom compost under the silage tarp so when we uncovered the land it was instantly ready for the plants to go in.

We have used hundreds of meters of cardboard (all the children’s Christmas present boxes included), over 20 tonnes of mushroom compost, 1000 ground staples and enormous rolls of silage sheeting. We did it all by hand, three generations strong in the January sun of 2022. Aching and muddy.

When May 2022 arrived, the moment of truth, we uncovered the first four beds and (save the stubborn thistles) we succeeded. Don’t get me wrong, we have grass paths on our site and we will always battle with tough perennial weeds creeping in but we were able to plant the area immediately and our first crops were overwhelmingly positive.

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Field 216 FAQs

Anyone! Just ask for what you need and i’ll see if I can help!

They are all different. It depends on what you want, how many and when? If they are not displayed in the shop then please ask and I’ll always help if I can.

Yes, if you let me know that you wish to purchase for trade then I can let you have our trade application form.

We don’t use anything nasty, no herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals but we are not accredited as ‘organic’

No. Unfortunately, as a working farm, I don’t open to the public. I do sometimes invite customers to visit to pick their own or to hold conversations about weddings or events.

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