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Alistair Coombes, 5 Picture Story-Cottage Farm

5 Picture Story-Cottage Farm
POSTED ON 2013/04/24
For my second 5 Picture Story I decided to go to Cottage Farm, a small, eco friendly farm in North Cornwall. I have included the story in the descriptions below the images.

Taking a bale of hay to the cattle, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013
Taking a bale of hay to the cattle, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013

Paul Sousek, the owner of Cottage Farm, a local eco-friendly farm, has been farming there since 2005. Cottage Farm has, in eight years, reduced its carbon footprint by 120% and has almost zero reliance on fossil fuels, all whilst being a viable business.

Spreading hay for the cattle to eat, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013
Spreading hay for the cattle to eat, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013

Paul doesn’t like using ring feeders to contain hay, preferring instead to spread it on the ground and leave it. He says that this way ‘the waste hay goes back into the ground and fertilises the grass, plus the grass doesn’t get torn up and become mud around the feeding area because I can easily move the feeding area around’.

Taking a lock of hay to the sheep, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013
Taking a lock of hay to the sheep, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013

Cottage farm has both Red Ruby cattle and Wiltshire Horn sheep, as well as several chickens and geese, and survives off the profits made by selling the livestock for meat. By producing his own electricity, not using fertiliser and sinking a borehole for water, instead of paying upwards of £1000 a year in utility bills, Paul is able to sell his produce at a much lower price than supermarkets, while still turning a healthy profit.

Heating up oil to make biodiesel, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013
Heating up oil to make biodiesel, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013

Paul also makes his own diesel from a combination of vegetable oil, Methanol and Potassium Hydroxide, he says this costs him about half the price per litre compared to red diesel. Biodiesel is used to power almost all the vehicles used on his farm, including his delivery car, making him large savings that he can pass on to his customers.

Paul bottle feeding recently born lambs, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013
Paul bottle feeding recently born lambs, Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall, 18th April 2013

The lambs are kept in isolation for several days after birth to allow the lamb to feed properly from the mother. Once they are strong enough they are allowed back into the field with the rest of the flock, though some are still bottle fed if they are not getting enough food naturally. Paul has only had one case of Schmallenberg Virus this year, which causes deformations and stillbirths in cattle, sheep and goats.

I shall be posting more images soon that didn’t make the cut for my 5 Picture Story. I have to admit that I had a fantastic morning with Paul and I hope to return soon.
More information can be found at the Cottage Farm website here: http://www.cottagefarmorganics.co.uk and orders for Paul’s produce can be placed here: http://www.cottagefarmorganics.co.uk/?page_id=521

https://amcoombesphotography.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/5-picture-story-co...