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The Slow Farming Company produces Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) beef cattle, pork and eggs from laying hens at their farm in Castle Cary, Somerset.
Very much a family business, with generations four, five and six (still in training!) currently living on the farm, at its core is Rob. He has lived on the farm for his whole life and has been at the forefront of the move to regenerative farming, driven by a conviction that there must be a better way to produce his meat and eggs, without ruining the land for future generations. Ed moved to the farm, with his mother Sally and brother Charlie, when he was eight and found himself in heaven. He has been working alongside Rob ever since. Ed’s wife, Camilla, and Charlie have recently launched an e-commerce website for the business, selling meat produced on the farm, alongside carefully curated homewares.
The beef cattle at The Slow Farming Company are managed outdoors on organically farmed pasture and herbal leys. “From spring to autumn, the cattle are bunched into mobs of approximately 50 cows, which are then grazed over small paddocks for up to 24 hours at a time, before we move them on,” explains Ed. “They graze our long established pastures alongside species-rich herbal leys, which include unusual plants and grasses such as sainfoin, clover and chicory. While they eat a good percentage of the plants, they also trample some back into the soil, encouraging further root and leaf growth, which sequesters carbon and builds organic matter in the soil.”
The beef cattle at The Slow Farming Company are also Certified Grassfed by AGW. This is an optional, additional accreditation for farmers meeting Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW standards of production which offer assurance of high-welfare and a 100 percent grassfed feeding protocol.
The farm’s flock of laying hens are also raised outdoors on pasture, where they are free to perform natural behaviours like running, dust bathing, pecking and scratching for grubs and seeds. After cattle have moved through pastures, the chickens are brought in to clean up pest larvae and other insects attracted by the cows. They also help to spread the cow manure as they scratch about.
The beef cattle and laying hens are also Certified Non-GMO by AGW. This certification is an optional, additional accreditation for farmers meeting Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW standards of production and offer assurance of high-welfare and non-GMO farming practices, without genetically engineered/modified feed, supplements or ingredients.
For Rob, Ed and their family, the way they farm and manage their animals is all about producing good food that nourishes people, as well as the land that grew it. “The nutritional benefits of this kind of food are hard to argue with,” they say. “Pasture-reared beef and eggs from chickens raised on pasture are lower in cholesterol, higher in omega 3 fatty acids and higher in heart disease-fighting antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E. It’s also better for the animals, as they are truly free-range.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW chicken eggs, along with Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW beef from The Slow Farming Company is available directly from the farm (you can order via their website: slowfarming.co.uk). Pasture-raised eggs are also available at Bill the Butchers in Bruton and at the farm shop at The Newt in Somerset. Check the AGW directory for details. For more information about The Slow Farming Company, visit slowfarming.co.uk, follow the farm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or contact Ed White at 07729 811236 and email@example.com.