Self-sufficiency: planting the seeds that will feed the herds

Growing our own food for our red deer


On another part of Church Farm, Tom and Chloe have planted a 17 seed mix of clovers, legumes, herbs, wildflowers and grasses, which when harvested, will provide about 80 bale’s worth of food for the herds - enough to see them through the winter.

Tom says: “One of the one of the big aims has been to be fully self sufficient. In the first couple of years we had to buy haylage bales from Ross on Wye, or Gloucestershire, and it just seemed mad - it's a very costly way of feeding the animals. The more we get involved in this business, the more you see that it's got to be done locally. 

That is why we acquired this ground - because we are a stone's throw from the deer. So to be able to produce all the goodness for the winter feed here. And to be able to just nip across the road and put the bales in the field to me is an absolute game changer. And it's really the only kind of solution you've got. We’ve to be self-sufficient.”