Farming


Farming at Hornton Grounds

Historically the land at Hornton has been conventionally farmed, mostly to arable crops on what is known as “Cotswold brash”, much of the surrounding land has been quarried for the famous ironstone – Hornton stone.
Our farming ethos is based on growing the energy and protein and utilising it efficiently to produce superb quality meat raised naturally with minimal artificial inputs and an awareness that oil is a finite commodity.
harvest12 011pigs in mud 2014 006harvest

The farming entity is all based on a cycle of interlocking circles. Our cows and sheep graze upon clover rich pasture supplying them with all the protein and energy they need from pastures without reliance on cereals. In winter their protein comes from Lucerne (Alfalfa ) and conserved clover rich pastures.

At the end of the productive life of the field of clover or lucerne we grow a crop of wheat or barley which uses all the nitrogen that the clover and lucerne has fixed in the soil. The resulting straw is used for winter bedding and the grain is fed to our free range  out door reared Tamworth pigs and free range hens.
All the muck and by-products are then spread onto the fields to improve soil condition and fertility and the cycle begins again with a grass and clover mixture pasture and when its yield begins to diminish and the clover has optimised its nitrogen fixing in the soil we establish another crop of wheat or barley. The stubble after harvest is used for the free range pigs and the well rotted muck is spread on it before soil cultivations commence and the cycle of crop life begins again. This cycle runs for approximately an eight year rotation.
Great care has been taken in our choice of livestock to use these crops well and produce flavoursome meat.
The hardy traditional breed Aberdeen Angus produces superb tender beef from grazed grass. Aberdeen Angus are happy to be outside in all weathers but they mature early with a relatively lean carcase with some marbling that cooks very easily. The Aberdeen Angus society strictly enforce that meat called Aberdeen Angus must genetically be Aberdeen Angus and it shows on each animal’s cattle passport  what breed the sire and dam are.