My wife is very excited to announce that Ballakelly Farm has become an official partner of UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.
If you want to understand what this means CLICK HERE
BBC Radio 2 had a show on Thursday where the specialists were debating plastic and what would happen if we could all use cotton and bamboo tomorrow instead of plastic……the situation would be worse for the environment! I would also need to learn how to farm these products instead of meat, which would be a challenge in the IOM climate.
Being serious though we do need to think about what we are doing to reduce our use of plastic and unnecessary packaging.
Did you know you have to use your Ballakelly Cotton Bag 137 times before it is more eco friendly than a plastic bag, luckily my regular customers assure me they use them all the time 😊
It did get me thinking what does this mean to me, The Farmer.
On the Farm there is a lot of plastic used, the biggest offender is the animal feed bags we receive with minerals etc in, we collect all of these in a tote bag and the following people to name a few re-use them:
- Beach Buddies
- Our neighbours for veggies
- Horsey ladies for poo
- Ma Ma Ranson for sand bags
We try our best to make sure they are reused and not just sent to the incinerator.
Spreading manure – Dad always told me the farmers gold is hidden in his muck heap, every year I emptied the pile hoping to find a pot of gold, now I am older and wiser I realise he mean it is ‘’free’’ fertiliser!! For those of you who don’t purchase fertiliser you need a pot of gold to do so!! By using all the animal manure to spread on the land so that the crops/grass grow reduces the fertiliser I have to use to maintain healty soil.
A funny story has just come back to me. When Alice was in reception the class were discussing what do plants need to grow, so there were answers like – sun, water …. Her hand goes up ….SH1T …..the teacher said you mean manure…… nope dad says you need SH1T to make things grow!!!!
Back to how I do my bit to save the planet:
In the butchery shop we always try to use all the animal, we make our own dog food, marrow bones, dry pigs ears & skin for dog chews, fat balls from the hog roast for birds, the list goes on….. but we try to keep the tote bag of waste to an absolute minimum.
The farm shop we try to encourage the reusing of bags, cotton or plastic!
In the catering van we have just sourced the new vegwear products (be warned the burgers/hog roast baps are going up 50p, but this is not in my pocket though, this eco friendly packaging comes at a cost, this time the cost is not being absorbed by the farmer!)
We would like to look at getting a windmill. The eco friendly packaging needs somewhere to decompose, I would like to see if it can be added to my gold pile! Rachel has also been in discussions with the Wildlife Trust to see if there are things we can work together on to improve our practice to benefit all parties.
Watch out for the Ballakelly Honey this year ……Beeeeeee Good and see you next week.
On Wednesday we showed a lovely group of Irish young farmers around the farm, then they kindly treated us to pub grub, so Mr T had a pint of Guinness ☘ 🍻
The rainy days have given the boys more time to work on Billy, can’t wait for those chromes to arrive 😆