Sustainability Spotlight | April: Daynes Farm

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Daynes Farm
Posted on
19 Mar 2024

This month we’re turning our Sustainability Spotlight on Daynes Farm, a family run organic farm of 1000 acres in the South Hams, mainly in Harberton near Totnes, Devon.

Daynes Farm produces organic beef, lamb and goat, alongside organic seasonal veggies and you can visit! They also have an on-site organic butchery, tea room and farm shop.

So let’s meet the family and hear about their sustainability journey…

Meet David, Helen, Emily, Elliot and Alfred – we are Daynes Farm. We are a family run a mixed organic farm, farming across the South Hams, our home being in Harberton.

We have a herd of  South Devon Cattle, a flock of mule ewes and a small flock of Whiteface Dartmoor sheep, Boer goats and Tamworth & Tamworth cross Berkshire Pigs.

We grow vegetables for Riverford and ourselves. Our newest venture is our on- farm, farm shop, butchery and café.

We want to farm in the most sustainable way possible, improving the soil, land and environment to pass onto the next custodians of the countryside.

Our cattle and sheep graze outside all year round, while the pigs and goats are outdoors for the majority of the time. Having a diverse rotation helps the soil and animals.

We farm using regenerative techniques, such as paddock grazing and bale grazing techniques. All the feed for the cows, sheep and goats is made on farm.

Most of our land is in Countryside Stewardship schemes or the new SFI scheme. We leave over winter stubble for ground nesting birds, we trim our hedges in cycles, we soil sample to make sure the soil is staying healthy and improve it. By grazing all year round, we are using the best nutrient, animal dung straight on the ground. There is less need for tractors and no need for artificial fertilisers.

We are always looking at ways at making our business more sustainable in all areas.

We have some solar panels which were installed on the FIT scheme. We would like to do more of this to make us more sustainable in the future. The technology of batteries to store electric has improved so much in recent years we feel it would be worthwhile to invest in. There are other renewable energy’s we need to research to help reduce our energy consumption. We farm organically with rotation of animals and crops. We have a number of species that help with this rotation. The newest one is the introduction of our Tamworth and Tamworth cross Berkshires. What an amazing job these animals do at turning over the soil and clearing it.

As much as we love our home and farm and we do, getting away from the farm is massively important. It doesn’t have to be for very long or very far, but away! We do this at least once a year and its often where we think of the next thing or how to improve on what we are doing…although I have been told no more species introduction (Cracker and Dave our beautiful donkeys were the last… watch this space!

Nothing can progress or be sustainable unless it makes some money.

Our farm, butchery, shop and café was born from this, making our business more sustainable by selling our goods direct to the consumer.  What a journey it has been and we are still on.

We really enjoy welcoming everyone to Daynes Farm, telling our story, what, why and how we do things.

There are many more things we hope to implement in the future, but one thing we are learning is that small steps first lead to giant leaps.

What got us this far at Daynes Farm – and we would say to other business looking to do something – is to have a go and be part of positive groups of like-minded people who have done these type of things before. They offer support and advice, advise on what has gone wrong and how they have been able to correct it. It’s important to just go for it!

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