• Georgie Newbery of Common Farm Flowers is based between Bruton and Wincanton in Somerset. She grows about two hundred and fifty different varieties of flowers and foliage for cutting on her smallholding throughout the year, more and more of which are used in her five star workshops and courses held both at the farm and as online sessions.

    She discovered Dalefoot Compost about two years ago. Why doesn’t she make her own compost? Because her flower farm’s ethos, ‘Look after the invertebrates and the rest of the food chain will look after itself,’ renders her own heaps of horticultural debris which lurk in every corner, out of bounds for Georgie, as they are also the corners where the grass snakes, slow worms, toads, hedgehogs, and many other friends live.

    And so she keeps dumpy bags of Dalefoot Lakeland Gold to hand, ordering four at a time so that she never runs out of stock. She uses it to mulch, to top dress, to feed, to grow in. Her dahlias, roses, sweet peas and all the other flowers she grows love it, and so does she.

    See her website, www.commonfarmflowers.com and choose a workshop or online session to enjoy yourself: her mission in life is to save the world one flower at a time, and to inspire and enable her students to do the same.

  • This week, we heard from Pingle Produce, a small market garden based at The Pingle which is a little parcel of land in the heart of Derbyshire, close to the lovely little market town of Wirksworth.

    'We are Gus and Fash, we have a small market garden known as Pingle Produce on the edge of the Derbyshire peaks. We’re just starting our 4th season.

    We grow a variety of veg both under cover and outside. We were very happy to find Dalefoot as we were getting tired of buying organic compost in small plastic bags, the ability to buy the bulk bags is such a plus for us and the planet!

    We are very happy with the performance of the compost and contented in the fact it’s made in the UK. We’re trialling the ‘double strength’ compost this year and so far our tomato and aubergine plants are looking very happy (despite the cold wet spring!).

    Can’t recommend this stuff enough :)'

     

    Visit Pingle Produce website...

  • Caption: The Cutting Patch
    Caption: Soil blocking
    Caption: Spring Bouquet

    This week we heard from Frances at Clodhopper Blooms and how she has been using our composts in her business specialising in seasonal cut Flowers grown in Kirkby Stephen Cumbria...

    'I am Frances from Clodhopper Blooms; a flower grower and florist based in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria. I’ve been growing flowers to sell for around 5 years, and trained with the Tallulah Rose Flower School because they advocate the use of British grown flowers and foam free floristry.

    It is important to me that flowers are grown as sustainably as possible. I use peat free compost and no pesticides or herbicides. By enjoying locally grown flowers, we can reduce air and road miles which is better for the planet. If I can deliver by bicycle I will, and have a custom made trailer. All packaging used for the presentation of the flowers is compostable, recyclable or
    reusable (or all three!).

    I originally started using Dalefoot Composts because of their locality, peat free and organic credentials. However, I was thrilled to learn that they are also instrumental in the regeneration of peat bogs in the UK. The Dalefoot seed compost suits my main method of seed sowing, which is using “Soil Blockers”. The Dalefoot Wool Compost for Potting is fantastic for mulching the growing beds and also for potting up cuttings, plants and sowing chunkier seeds.' 

     

    Visit Colodhopper Blooms website www.clodhopperblooms.co.uk

  • Our peat-free compost range made from sheep’s wool, bracken and comfrey has been shortlisted for the first ever RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year Award.

    Dalefoot Wool Compost with Comfrey, which we launched earlier this year, is one of ten shortlisted products to be recognised for their green credentials in this prestigious RHS competition.

    We spent five years perfecting the addition of comfrey, a plant superfood, into our popular peat-free Wool Compost range. Known as the organic gardener’s best friend, comfrey has high levels of potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen for healthy plant growth, larger flowers and bigger crops.

    Comfrey is now grown sustainably at Dalefoot farm as a commercial crop allowing us to scale up our peat-free compost production to supply many more garden centres and nurseries across the UK, plus online for home delivery. Blending comfrey into the composts complements our on-farm approach to no-till soil management, adds structure and additional flowers and biodiversity to the landscape benefitting insects and pollinators, and, importantly from a horticultural perspective, provides increased nutrient content in the final compost product.

    Professor Jane Barker: “As firm believers in true sustainability – social, economic and environmental - our team is over the moon to get this recognition and be shortlisted. We take real care to employ environmental best practice at Dalefoot, from the sourcing and harvesting of ingredients, to packaging and delivery. Our premium products also provide gardeners with a sustainable alternative to using environmentally damaging peat in their outdoor spaces.”

    With a hat-trick of performance-packed natural ingredients - comfrey, bracken and sheep’s wool - the Wool Compost range feeds plants for at least a season, requires less watering, as wool cleverly retains moisture, and is Soil Association-approved for organic gardening. Wool Compost is available in Potting, Seeds, Vegetables & Salads, Tomatoes, Double Strength and Ericaceous*.

    We source bracken from Exmoor, Northumberland and Wales, as well as locally in Cumbria – helping a diversity of farming communities and local landscapes. Bracken is an invasive plant but when harvested sustainably and composted, provides rich potash for plants and acts as a fantastic soil conditioner. Sheep farmers are benefitting too as supplying undipped wool for the compost means they have a market for a product they struggle to sell. We are a significant local employer and are Living Wage-accredited, and we also restore damaged peat bogs for organisations such as Natural England and the wildlife trusts.

    Over the past 12 months, compost production has doubled at Dalefoot, with more than 175 garden centres and nurseries now stocking our products.

    About RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year - The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year was launched in 2011 to recognise the best new garden products at the show. In line with the ever increasing importance to ensure products offer sustainable solutions, the 2021 competition will award the RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year for the first time. Other shortlisted products include New Vegebag by Vegepod UK, Composting Loo by Green Oak and Ocean Plastic Pots, made from discarded rope and fishing net. An expert judging panel will consider environmental sustainability as well as innovation, visual appeal, functionality and quality and the winner will be announced during Virtual Chelsea (17 - 21 May). A trophy presentation will take place on Press Day at RHS Chelsea Flower Show now being held in September.

    * Wool Compost Ericaceous, Lakeland Gold and Bulb Compost do not contain comfrey

  • • Comfrey – the organic gardeners best friend – a ‘dynamic accumulator’ packed with nutrients is added into the Wool Compost range
    • ‘Bocking 14’ variety has high levels of potassium, phosphorous & nitrogen for healthy plant growth, larger flowers & bigger crops
    • Comfrey now being grown sustainably at Dalefoot farm as company scales up peat-free compost production to supply many more garden centres and nurseries across the UK, plus online for home delivery
    • Bracken for Dalefoot’s products sourced from Exmoor, Northumberland & Wales, helping farming communities & local biodiversity further afield

    Dalefoot Composts, the Lake District peat-free compost maker, has added comfrey into its peat-free Wool Compost range giving an extra super charge of nutrients and trace elements for blooming, healthy plants.

    Now with a hat-trick of performance-packed natural ingredients - comfrey, bracken and sheep’s wool - the Wool Compost range feeds plants for at least a season, requires less watering, as wool cleverly retains moisture, and is Soil Association-approved for organic gardening. Wool Compost is available in Potting, Seeds, Vegetables & Salads, Tomatoes, Double Strength and Ericaceous1.

    Comfrey is renowned in the gardening world for being a plant superfood. It has very long roots so is able to absorb nutrients deep in the soil as it grows, and when harvested and then added to compost or a traditional comfrey tea, the nutrients give a growing ‘kick’ to other plants, encouraging strong, healthy growth.

    The introduction of comfrey to the compost mix marks the culmination of a five-year project by the Dalefoot team to grow the plant on a commercial scale, sustainably on the farm, and harness its extraordinary qualities. The fast-growing comfrey crop can be harvested four times a year, so there is plenty on tap to meet rising demand for the company’s premium composts in the future.

    The company is also now sourcing bracken from Exmoor, Northumberland and Wales, as well as locally in Cumbria – helping a diversity of farming communities and local landscapes. Bracken is an invasive plant but when harvested sustainably and composted, provides rich potash for plants and acts as a fantastic soil conditioner. Sheep farmers are benefitting too as supplying wool for the compost means they have a market for a product they struggle to sell.

    Dalefoot’s peat-free products are unique as they use a fully-traceable, sustainable blend of wool, bracken and now comfrey to make composts for every gardening need. Wool releases a steady stream of nitrogen and other must-have nutrients which, when combined with bracken and comfrey, means no further feed is required over the growing season.

    Professor Jane Barker of Dalefoot Composts said: “Comfrey is a truly remarkable plant offering a multitude of uses and we’re excited to grow it right here on the farm for our compost. We’ll be looking at how we can use it in other products for the gardener in the future.

    “Our farm’s bees, insects and wildlife are also benefitting from the biodiversity boost the new comfrey fields and their nectar-rich flowers bring to the local environment.”

    Over the past 12 months, compost production has doubled at Dalefoot, with 177 garden centres and nurseries now stocking its products.

    The Dalefoot team also restores peat bogs, some of which were once owned by peat compost companies, across the UK for the likes of Natural England, NatureScot, South West Water and wildlife trusts. Peat bogs store more carbon than forests and many in the UK are now in poor condition, releasing carbon rather than just storing it. To date, this work equates to 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions - equivalent to 500,000 flights from London to New York - saved since Dalefoot started two decades ago.

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© Barker and Bland Ltd t/a Dalefoot Composts 2014 - 2021. All rights reserved.
Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

This project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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