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Transition Newsletters

This is an archive of Transition News emails.

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Transition News May 2010

This one is all about Cottage Farm, Jacobstow, Cornwall

Greetings from Cottage Farm and a short update on our efforts!

Organic status…

Having successfully completed our 2 year conversion period to ‘Organic Farm’ status with Organic Farmers & Growers, we still have to be inspected every year – in fact, we passed our 2010 inspection just 2 weeks ago! Fortunately, the small local farmers’ abattoir that we use also became organic at about the same time so we are able to continue sending our animals there. Nowadays all the beef and lamb you buy from us is fully organic and our packaging is marked accordingly.

Fresh organic meat boxes…

Our Combination box – 10kg of beef and ½ a lamb – is the most popular box, although we continue to offer the whole lamb box and the 10, 15 and 30kg beef boxes. Our meat is better than butchers and cheaper than even non-organic meat at supermarkets so in these difficult times why not feed your family delicious meat at the best possible price. We still have some beef available for delivery at the end of May. Nationwide customers delivery is normally on the last Wednesday of each month, except for December when it is timed to arrive before Christmas. To place an order either email cottage.farm@tiscali.co.uk or visit

http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk/Cottage-Farm-Shop

New arrivals…

We have just finished lambing and have 45 new Wiltshire Horn lambs enjoying the (occasional) spring sunshine. This year we have 2 lambs to bottle-feed – they are now down to just 2 feeds a day and the amount of milk is slowly being reduced so that by the end of this month they will be weaned off and on their own!

Since February we have also had 10 Red Ruby calves. These were the last calves sired by Bollowal Bartok, our pedigree Red Ruby bull, who was sold to pastures new since he cannot breed with his own offspring. His position was usurped by a sprightly three-year-old Lee Manor Raleigh. Now its just a question of waiting to see what kind of calves he will sire!

Renewable energy…

Last year we started making our own bio-diesel from waste vegetable oil, which we now use in our family car, the Landrover and the farm tractor. As a result we no longer need any fossil fuel diesel on the farm, for driving or for local meat box deliveries, which are now zero-carbon.

We also installed solar panels for producing hot water, and photovoltaic panels, for producing electricity. Together with a new ‘heat store’ and a wood burner using up wood from the farm, the set-up cleverly plugs into the old central heating system to distribute the heat around the house.

Overall our CO2 emissions are down by 70%, as assessed by the Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust and we are well on the way to becoming a carbon neutral farm, one of the first in the UK. As a result Paul was recently invited to speak at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester on the subject of ‘Transition Farming’: www.TransitionNC.org , click on ‘Local Food Directory’ and read about ‘Cottage Farm’ or just click http://www.transitionnc.org/node/45/1267#comment-1267

OldHome, SuperHome…

As a result of installing all the above, we have qualified to become the first, and currently only, ‘OldHome SuperHome’ in Cornwall. The term applies to any house that is not a new-build but has been improved to cut at least 60% of carbon emissions: www.Superhomes.org.uk. Superhomes are open to the public several times a year and our next few dates are: Sunday 6th June, Sunday 15th August and Sunday 3rd October. The Superhomes website lists about 60 homes around the country, giving you an opportunity to see how its done in practice at an open day near you.

Wishing you all the best and hoping for your continued support.