Henry and the team at Bruern Farms are passionate about three things: rebuilding a healthy ecosystem, growing wholesome nutritious food and building a vibrant community.
We know that our current farming and food systems are beyond broken. Here at Bruern Farms, we are determined to challenge the status quo. It’s a bit ambitious, a lot of hard work and we don’t always get it right, but as long as we continue to improve the environment, grow nutritious food and help build a vibrant and healthy community, we remain hopeful and excited about the future. We know we are heading in the right direction.
There is so much to say about what we are doing here at Bruern Farms. View the options below or read on to find out more about our farming practices.
The land farmed at Bruern is split between permanent pasture, rotational pasture and a continuous cropping system with a living mulch understorey. We work with various partners in assisting and developing new schemes that help our soil to improve in its structure, therefore allowing us to produce healthier crops.
The majority of the permanent pasture is part of the flood plain for either the River Evenlode or Littlestock Brook. Historically it was classed as an environmentally sensitive area, latterly being managed as low input grassland under a Countryside Stewardship agreement. The flood plain is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The grassland is grazed with native Longhorn cattle and Dorset sheep. We work in partnership with other local producers who graze their cattle and sheep throughout the year, including two young farmers keen to build their livestock business. Giving others access to land is an important principle for us.
Over the past few years, we have been restoring some of the grassland to wildflower meadows with the help of Glorious Cotswolds. Glorious Cotswold Grasslands is an exciting and ambitious project which aims to create the largest network of wildflower-rich Jurassic limestone grassland in the country.
The rotational pasture is a mix of longer and shorter term herbal leys and shorter term hay leys. These have been added to the arable rotation to try and help improve soil structure and increase soil fertility. Integrating grazing livestock into the arable rotation will help increase soil health and carbon sequestration.
We currently grow wheat, barley, rye, spelt, heritage wheat, buckwheat, beans, linseed, sunflowers, peas and canary seed.
We follow conservation agricultural practices, with direct drilling, cover cropping and diverse rotation to help improve soils, reduce inputs and prevent the build-up of weeds, pests and diseases.
All work is undertaken in-house, along with contract farming agreements with neighbouring farmers.