Tonight I'm heading down to Overbury Farms on the Worcestershire/ Gloucestershire border to talk to Farm Manager Jake Freestone @No1FarmerJake
We hear about the 1600ha mixed farm that he manages, that's been in the same family since 1722, and the wide range of soil types, conditions, crops, and enterprises that they have going on there.
We discuss Jake's non-farming background, and how he caught the bug initially helping out on his Godfather's dairy farm in Bedfordshire, and how from then on he wasn't going to do anything else but farm. We find out how he eventually ended up at Overbury, after stints at Seale Hayne Agricultural College and several different farms and estates, gaining a wide range of experience in different roles.
We hear what crops they were growing when he arrived, and what system they were using then, before moving on to discuss the impact of his Nuffield Scholarship and what he learned from innovative farmers around the World using a zero-tillage system, and his 'light-bulb' moment in Oklahoma.
We then discuss at length how he's set about drastically changing the tillage system at Overbury; from the cross slot drill they use, to both cover and companion crops, and the huge environmental and cost benefit they've seen since making the change.
We also talk about his passion for sharing the knowledge he's accumulated through his experience with the system with other farmers, and also his blog, harvest diary, and social media, and why he feels that showing what they do on the farm is important.
All this and much, much more.
Jake's one of the brightest and best farmers in the UK, and it was a genuine pleasure to hear more about the pioneering work he's doing with environmental farming.
Check it out folks..