In 2010 we brought our first cow, Valentina, from Bryher. We now have a herd of ten Devon Red Ruby cattle and they are used to graze on our farmland and on the St Martin’s land managed by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust. We work closely with the Wildlife Trust to help them look after some of the most beautiful and environmentally important marine heathland in the UK.
Using our cows for grazing is important as it helps to keep the gorse and bracken and other invasive species under control, leaving more space for other plants to grow and so increasing biodiversity. The animal dung produced and the flattened areas made from hooves encourage insects, which birds can feed from.
This summer we have started selling beef from our happy herd. The meat from this slow growing breed is beautifully marbled and extremely tasty. More and more consumers are feeling the need to source their meat from animals that are treated and fed well. Our cows are not only free range but have a very envious view!
We are concentrating on selling our beef locally direct from our farm and so far it has proved very popular! If you are coming to stay on the Isles of Scilly and are passing the farm pop in and see what we have available in our meat fridge. We have a new website which lists the prices of the different cuts as well as having a few helpful recipes.
Having the herd of Red Rubys has been a welcome addition to flower farming. The outside crew enjoy looking after the cattle, even if moving them can sometimes prove a challenge! Ben said it is also very rewarding to eat the beef from a cow your have raised, making it extra tasty.
If you would like to see how our new haylage machine will also benefit our growing herd of cows you can read our previous blog post ‘Busy on the farm.’