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Building Soil Health
In order to grow healthy food you need healthy soil. The addition of pesticides and chemical fertilisers year after year can result in soil that is degenerated and unable to thrive and support life on its own.
Organic farming practices enable the soil to host as many as 600 million to 1 billion helpful bacteria from 15,000 species in a teaspoon of organic soil. In contrast a teaspoon of soil treated with chemicals may carry as few as 100 helpful bacteria.
Intensive agriculture causes soil erosion. Organic farming builds up healthy soil and keeps a green cover that combats soil erosion. Soil erosion and the loss of topsoil are extremely serious issues which threaten the world’s future supply of food.
The Highest Welfare Standards
For an organic livestock farm this is the driver for everything we do.
Our animals have access to pasture throughout the year with plenty of space to allow them to express their natural behaviours.
When conditions require them to be housed all animals are provided with light, space and comfort.
At Askerton our cattle and sheep are 100% grass fed – no grain. The pigs and poultry are fed some organic grain which is free from any genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as having access to pasture. All grazing and foraging is on pastures free of pesticides and herbicides; we only use the natural fertiliser produced by our own livestock.
There is no routine use of antibiotics; an animal is only treated when it is sick.
By providing the environment that animals need to thrive in means we are able to reduce levels of stress and disease in all our livestock.
Organic Farming Supports Pollinators
Herbicides and pesticides do not differentiate between good and bad bugs or bacteria - they kill them all. In order for there to be life on earth a certain level of biodiversity must be maintained. We strive to encourage and build biodiversity by not using any herbicides or pesticides, and so help preserve natural habitats that encourage birds and other predators to live successfully on the land.
Askerton Castle Estate is a Soil Association Certified Organic Farm and Butchery.
Certification Numbers: Producer – G8450 Processor – AJ08450
To find out more about Organic Standards, please visit https://www.soilassociation.org/