Other farming methods benefit the wider environment. Because we don’t use chemical fertilisers, and limit the amount of horse manure we apply, any run-off from our land is relatively low in nutrients. This helps avoid the problem of ‘eutrophication’ in nearby rivers and streams, whereby excessive algal growth makes it difficult for fish and other wildlife to survive.
Alsia Cross has a global perspective too. We try to have a small carbon footprint by using solar power to pump water and light our shed, riding an electric bike to and from our land whenever possible, and of course always selling as locally as possible. And although we do use polytunnels and horticultural mesh, we avoid covering large areas of crops with plastic.
To see some of the plants and animals that thrive at Alsia Cross, take a look at our wildlife gallery.
At Alsia Cross, we use organic farming methods approved and checked by the Soil Association. As a result, our market garden is buzzing with wildlife: bees and butterflies, lizards and frogs, skylarks and goldcrests, buzzards and sparrow hawks, red kites and barn owls…the list goes on.
There are many ways by which we have created a local haven for wildlife. Here are the main ones:
we don’t use pesticides;
we rotate a wide variety of crops and include red clover to attract pollinating insects and replenish our soil;
when we mow our grass, we leave meadow zones for wildlife to inhabit;
we plant hedge trees every winter – around 700 since 2003;
we manage our farm woodland to conserve a range of habitats; and
we have established several grassland orchards which already provide hunting grounds for bats and owls.