STORIES · 08.03.22
Farming | Food | Mindful Living
‘Leave nothing but footprints’ is a phrase I often think about in relation to the way we live as it captures the sentiment behind our philosophy to work with nature at Daylesford. Treading as lightly and as mindfully as possible is not always straight-forward – and we are always looking for ways to work even more sustainably – but I thought I would share a little more about some of the zero-waste initiatives we are proud to practice on the farm.
Wool is one of nature’s most incredible and ancient natural fibres, so it is important that we don’t waste a scrap of the precious clip from our pedigree Llyen flock, who we shear twice a year. I discovered that wool could be turned into a safe, effective and sustainable natural building insulation just as we were starting to refurbish some of our rental cottages at The Wild Rabbit. It has been so rewarding to see the wool travel from field to rafters, giving this special material a new lease of life. We are working to transform it into mattresses for the bedrooms too – an exciting project I look forward to updating you on later this year.
Wool is one of nature’s most incredible and ancient natural fibres, so it is important that we don’t waste a scrap of the precious clip
Our Lleyn fleeces are also woven into cosy throws for Daylesford’s home collection – and full sheepskins are treated at an organic tannery in Dorset to craft beautiful, natural sheepskin rugs without the use of any chemicals. The wool from our Merino flock is a lot softer, so we use this to create limited edition knitwear pieces for Bamford. You can read more about this completely traceable, homegrown collection here, and track the journey from last month’s shearing to the completion of our next collection in January 2023 via my Instagram page.
‘Leave nothing but footprints’ is a phrase I often think about in relation to the way we live, perfectly summing-up the sentiment behind our philosophy to work with nature at Daylesford
As an organic farm, we only use natural fertiliser to nourish our crops and soil – namely the manure and waste straw bedding from our cows. As well as being better for the health of our plants and ourselves, putting this back onto the land makes good use of organic matter that may otherwise have gone to waste. Creating a closed loop like this recycles nutrients back into the soil, helping the next growing cycle and so the process repeats itself. We also work to collect all silage wrap and bale string, ensuring it can be reused or recycled the following year.
A nose-to-tail approach to eating is another important way we reduce waste on the farm, using and honouring every single part of our animals. The bones from our abattoir are boiled to make stocks, broths and soups that form the basis of Daylesford’s organic meals – imparting huge amounts of flavour, as well as nourishing glycoproteins, gelatin, minerals, fats and amino acids.
In a similar way, our Market Garden is run with a ‘root-to-fruit’ philosophy – making use of every part of our fruits and vegetables whether in our kitchens or by composting excess back into the soil. We care for our plants in a way that means they can be reused too – for example bringing our healthy but fruitless strawberry runners inside over winter to be preserved in pots, then replanted back outside come in spring.