The first carbon negative dairy farm in the UK is flinging its doors open to the public on Sunday (June 12).
How Now Dairy at Ladywell Farm, Ivybridge is taking part in the national farming industry’s annual open day.
This year’s Open Farm Sunday focuses on health and asks farmers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, biodiversity, climate mitigation, nutritious food and well-managed countryside.
Farmer Oliver Lee initially aimed for the dairy to become carbon neutral by 2022, but instead successfully managed to become carbon negative in 2020.
He said: “The farm and the life within it have always been important to us and we have been quietly working with our soils, our grasses and cows to achieve our carbon negative status.
“By carefully managing our soils on the farm; planting herbal leys and grazing our cows in specific ways, we allow life in the soil to thrive.
“It’s this life that increases the carbon within the soil and locks it away, taking the carbon out of the atmosphere.”
Visitors to the 40-acre Ladywell Farm will have the chance to find out more about its innovative compostable packaging, fully electric fleet of delivery vans and delivery of some of the finest products the South Hams has to offer including artisan bread from Lamaro Bakery in Totnes and organic juices from Heron Valley in Loddiswell.
Oliver will be conducting farm tours where he will introduce visitors to his herd of Ayrshire cows and explain his carbon negative farming methods.
He said: “Our packaging is a new concept, the milk pouch and cardboard compost completely after 12 weeks in a commercial compost heap mixed with other garden cuttings.
“Once everything has be broken down by bacteria and fungi the compost is then used as an organic fertiliser on the farm.”
The dairy farmer will also throw light on the processes used in delivering milk to the doorsteps of South Hams householders.
The farm will be holding four free tours during the course of the day from 8am until 10am, from 10.30am to 12.30pm and then from 1pm to 3pm and 3.30pm to 5.30pm.
Light refreshments will be available to purchase during the day.
The farm can be accessed from Kitterford Cross on the junction with the A3121 and B3196; or via What3Words rail.dripped.resembles
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