During a farm visit to FarmEd in the summer we were shown a plot of Heritage wheat and it was explained to us the all round benefits of growing these ancient grains and its importance in a regenerative system of production.  At Lower Hampen Farm we have been growing modern single varieties of wheat as part of our eight year...

The benefits of planting winter cover crops are wide ranging and very important for the health of the soil, water quality, wildlife and crops. This is a quick list of those benefits. For Soil: Cover crops help to prevent soil erosion and run-off, keeping soil in the field Deep-rooting crops will help to improve soil structure in compacted soils Cover crops...

This year I established a dedicated area for growing dye plants for use on our wool. Interest in using sustainably grown plant dyes is steadily spreading as people become aware of the damage to the environment caused by synthetic commercially produced dyes as well as their high carbon footprint. For several years I have been using dye plants responsibly foraged on...

A lovely friend has very kindly shared a recent pattern for a knitted cushion, which she created using some of my plant-dyed wool.   Description: Cushion cover with cable panel, knitted on size 4.5 mm needles and sewn along side seams. Measurement: Final cushion cover measures 37 x 37 cm. Cover fits cushion size 40 x 40 cm. Knitting is stretched slightly for a good...

In May we successfully applied to the GREAT CSA Incubator Project.  The Gloucestershire Regenerative Environmental Agricultural Transition (GREAT) Project centres on working with farmers and growers in Gloucestershire on three streams of work: building evidence, sharing knowledge and nurturing enterprise. The GREAT programme, is a collaborative initiative focusing on Gloucestershire, looking to create a secure and sustainable food system that...

At the beginning of April the water courses on the farm were surveyed by Holly Williams and Pascale Nicolet from the Newt Conservation Partnership with a view to creating ponds for the endangered Greater Crested Newt. There is evidence of these newts in the area so the conservation charity is keen to establish a network of suitable habitats to encourage the...

Over the last few years we have been changing how we manage our permanent pasture grassland.    Our aim is to increase the diversity of grasses and forbs, particularly herbs and this will provide our livestock with a more balanced natural diet.  We have instigated a rotational grazing system, dividing our larger fields into two or three paddocks.  The animals spend 2-3...

In February 2021 we were delighted that our application to become certified by the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association was successful. This means that all lamb meat sold from our pedigree flock of Devon Closewool sheep will be able to carry the Pasture for Life certification mark. The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association promotes the unique quality of produce raised exclusively on pasture, and the...

On a beautiful crisp snowy morning in late January 2021, Emma Hague from SWE Fibreshed and Hatty Bell, film maker and photographer braved the icy roads to visit Hampen. SWE Fibreshed is part of the wider organisation Fibershed that began in the United States. It is a movement that is concerned with natural fibres grown and processed in an ethical and sustainable...

Heritage Orchard sponsored by the Environment Agency In November 2019 we were supplied with 25 fruit trees to plant two new orchards on the farm.  The scheme was organised by Carly Kimber, the local Biodiversity Technical Officer for the Environment Agency as part of the ‘Pollinators in Gloucestershire’ project.  The scheme aimed to off-set the damage to wildlife habitats (following necessary...