Farm Walk:Tamarisk Farm,Dorset
12 June 2013 16:30 - 12 June 2013 19:30
Adam and Ellen Simon,Tamarisk Farm,West Bexington, Dorchester, Dorset,DT2 9DF
Farm Background: Tamarisk Farm is 600 acres of mixed organic farming on the clay slope running down to the sea behind the chesil beach on the Jurassic coast of West Dorset. Most of the land is low fertility permanent pasture and scrub, divided by broad hedges. The farm began growing organic vegetables in 1960 with the home farm becoming fully certified in the 1970s and additions converted in the 1990s. We keep a herd of pedigree Ruby Red cattle and a flock of Dorset Down sheep as well as small flocks of Hebrideans, Shetlands and Jacobs, all predominantly grass fed on permanent pastures. The arable rotation relies heavily on red clover for fertility, producing Maris Widgeon wheat and rye for milling and some second cereal for feed. Flour, meat and vegetables are sold both wholesale and through the farm shop, as well as new lines in sheepskins and organic knitting yarns - all from our own sheep. The whole farm has been in Countryside Stewardship for two decades and is now in HLS, and this is a major income enabling us to farm very extensively (some might say inefficiently!) to maintain and develop the conservation value which is our passion. This includes a range of rare and uncommon arable weeds and wildflowers (with nine species of orchids), diverse small mammals and birds and great crested newts and dragonflies. We try to sell ourselves under the banner "Farming and wildlife side-by-side", producing good wholesome food without compromising the quality of the environment.
Attendance is free but advanced booking is absolutely essential. We will send out directions prior to the walk.