Farming Ethically - Knitting Beautifully
Long before it was fashionable to be sustainable, and without really acknowledging our desire to be so, we have tried to work in harmony with our small farm and nature.
Planting hedges and trees to re establish connections between areas of woodland, for mini beasts and birds alike. Managing our ancient woods to encourage light into the over grown dells and rides, whilst allowing woodland violets and bluebells to raise their heads after many years in the dark.
Heating the house and barn with logs from our own woodlands, sounds romantic, but when its - 3 degrees and the boilers gone out, its not just my fingers that are turning blue. Oh and of course bringing livestock back, the key to the cycle of life on a farm. Animals mean pooh, pooh means insects, and insects are at the bottom of the food chain supporting all sorts of birds and beasties.
Through intensive agricultural practices, farming from hedge to hedge, extensive use of pesticides and the decline in livestock ,our native farmland bird population has declined by 70% since the early 80's. We therefore introduced 6m wild life borders around our arable fields, along with a programme of reversion of arable fields back to pasture land, has help in our own small way to bring back a safe haven to our once numerous feathered friends
Just Because Its Difficult Doesn't Mean To Say It's Not Worth While
We are currently involved with Winchester University in a research project to look at how our wool business can become more sustainable. Taking on the Circular Economy model, where every element of the business has been considered on the recyclability or reuse of both our inputs and outputs.
The Story So Far
All our labels are made from paper from independent, sustainable, small Finnish foresters, who care for their woodlands and their wildlife, and are printed with vegetable dyes.
All our dye effluent is treated and filtered before the water is disposed of, ensuring we are not doing good on the one hand, while causing harm on the other.
Our yarn is not Superwash, stripping the yarn with toxic chlorine gases and spray coating with plasticiser, might make life easier, but hey, you've spent all that time making something, an extra 10 minutes in the washing isn't so bad, is it?
We get things wrong, we are not there yet, but we are committed to treading lightly on this little piece of Hampshire, that we have to privilege to caretake for a short time.