For us, true sustainability also includes building sustainable communities. Proper sustainable farming needs to have an economic benefit to the community. It is no good having farmers and workers unable to make a living through food production as this only leads to unfair pressure on principles.
We work with our farmers and we agree upfront on a fair price to produce our food. The price does not fluctuate with the market and is always honoured.
By supporting Pipers Farm your money is going back into the community. It is helping us ensure our countryside looks fantastic, it is funding projects such as converting to renewable energy on our farms, and importantly it is securing a future for small-scale family farms.
We have specifically chosen breeds that are native to this part of the world. We do not rear these because it is fashionable, we grow this traditional breed because it is used to the terrain and climate here in Devon.
Our livestock range can digest the rough grass and convert it into protein with zero input. This allows land to be farmed and communities to be sustained where otherwise there would be very little resource available. Turning a rugged and difficult land into an abundant rich landscape that produces nourishing, healthy, high welfare food that simultaneously becomes a haven for wildlife.
Grassland forms a vital part of our countryside. For centuries it has been the principal food source for cattle and sheep. Fields of just grass provide all nutritional components an animal needs. Our fields contain a variety of other plant species including herbs, wildflowers, and clovers. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals our grasses not only provide incredible healthy nutrition but also support a diverse range of insects and wildlife.
We do not believe you have to cut down acres of rainforest, grow miles of land for grain, we simply utilise what is in abundance right on our doorstep. Our ruminant animals only ever eat a diet of 100% pure natural grass, all grown on our farms.
Our chicken and pigs, although not ruminants, also eat grass as a high proportion of their diet. You will notice our chickens are very yellow; this is down to the amount of chlorophyll they have ingested from foraging in our fields.
Regenerative farming is an approach to food and farming systems that rejects pesticides, artificial fertilizers and chemical imputs, and instead focusses on regenerating topsoil, increasing biodiversity, improving water cycles and increasing resilience to climate fluctuation to strengthen the health and vitality of farming communities.
Regenerative farming is based on techniques and thinking that integrates organic farming, permaculture, agroecology, agroforestry, restoration ecology, and holistic management.
One of our fundamental principles of farming the Green Orchid Farm way is to grow livestock slowly. By selecting the right breeds, with the right diet, we let animals grow at a natural pace. This is of paramount importance to the health and welfare of our stock and it also ensures an animal has developed a proper bone structure and texture in the meat – resulting in real eating quality.
We are also passionate about the Slow Food movement, a grassroots organisation that is the alternative to fast food. Slow Food strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming characteristics in line with the local ecosystem. The Slow Food motto is ‘Good, clean and fair” – a sentiment we couldn’t agree more with.
Eat Less Meat
Sounds strange, doesn’t it, coming from farmers and butchers? However, we do believe we should all cut down on the amount of meat we eat, it is simply not sustainable. Meat has along the lines lost its value, with products like cheap chicken so readily available we have become so detached from the long process it takes to produce food.
We believe we should all eat much less meat, and when we do eat meat ensure it has been produced in a way that has respect for the animal, respect for the farmer and respect for the landscape.
Making sure we have enough food for the future and looking after our planet for the next generation is so important to us as a business. Reducing food waste is a key part of preserving a healthy and sustainable countryside.
We are a zero to landfill business. Our waste is sorted into recycling materials and matter for the local biodigester that is turned into energy and then compost to feed the land.
We utilise the whole carcass from nose to tail and ensure nothing is ever wasted. We encourage our customers to try something a little different, to think outside the box and realise the true value of the food you are eating.