In recent years we have been progressively transitioning to regenerative farming – an approach to food and farming systems that uses a variety of sustainable agriculture techniques.
Alongside our high standards of animal welfare, with some generous support we are now instituting a three-year programme to fully embed regenerative farming methods at all our sites. Through such measures, we are already farming all our 1,000 acres without fertilizers or pesticides. All of this allows the wildlife on our farms to thrive.
Planting herbal leys improves the drought resistance and soil fertility of our land, reduces the need for certain animal treatments thanks to its natural medicinal properties, as well as improves livestock growth from its high protein content.
This briefer, but more intense, grazing regime sees livestock moved onto new pasture more regularly, ensuring soils get gently tilled with longer to recover benefiting their structure and productivity.
Investing in the best genetic performance of our livestock will improve our profitability (improved growth is achieved on less feed) and also reduce our carbon footprint through greater efficiency.
Hedgerow planting and management reduces soil erosion, provides shelter and forage for wildlife, increases biodiversity and links habitats – benefiting a wide range of plant and animal species.
We provide training for our Farm Managers to keep abreast of the latest knowledge and technology. We share this with our visiting young people, encouraging a better understanding of farming and the environment.
Engaging young people in farming has been at the core of Jamie’s Farm since the charity began. We seek to run exemplar livestock farms where happy animals can be looked after by visiting children.
Between the farms, we have around 1,000 breeding ewes producing over 1600 lambs per year, 200 cattle and 200 pigs. We have Lleyn and Texel sheep lambing in January and March meaning as many young people as possible can witness the birth of a lamb. All ewes are crossed with muscular homebred Texel rams to produce delicious lamb for Jamie’s Farmers, local butchers and bigger outlets, such as Marks & Spencer and Tesco. Cows graze all summer with their calves and spend the winters eating top-quality home produced hay and silage. We sell bulls to local farmers and cattle are sold in the local livestock markets or fattened and sold to butchers or Tesco. Our sows and piglets roam between cosy sheds full of straw and our woodland and paddocks.
We regard that understanding where food comes from is a vital part of anyone’s upbringing and will allow them to make a better-informed decision about what they eat in the future.
Jamie’s Farm tries to minimise its impact on the environment in a number of ways; through how we use energy, the food we eat, what we buy, and how we use other natural resources. This not only saves money but helps to give the people who visit an understanding of the importance of respecting the world around us.
Lots of the fruit and vegetables we eat are grown onsite which helps young people to understand about seasonal food. Our eggs and most of our meat comes from our own animals (pigs, lambs and cows) and we sometimes make our own sausages, bacon and cured hams. When not available from our own farm we buy in seasonal and local food which is always certified through high welfare schemes.
Nothing goes to waste at the farm and in addition to general recycling, we use our food scraps, cardboard and paper for making compost which then helps us to grow more delicious food!
Between our farms we use a mix of renewable energy systems including solar, biomass and solar thermal providing us with clean, green heat and electricity. Where we cannot produce enough energy to meet our needs, we source our utilities from sustainable sources.
Combined, this means that the majority of the energy we consume comes from renewable sources and therefore reduces our carbon footprint.
Currently, two of our farms have their own boreholes to draw water for farming. We also harvest rainwater to use in the gardens. We would like to harvest more rainwater and are looking into switching our toilets to rainwater where practical.
” It is inspiring to see them improve the resources they use rather than depleting them…
…As a Foundation, we were keen to support Jamie’s Farm as they made a shift to help mitigate climate change and seek to rehabilitate and enhance the ecosystems of the farms by placing a premium on soil health.”
– David Cock Foundation
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Jamie’s Farm has achieved so much since the charity began in 2009.
We couldn’t have got this far without our generous supporters contributing to the transformative experiences we offer to young people. Can you help us bring Farming, Family, Therapy and Legacy to young people now and for generations to come?