Richard & Lizzie Vines
Hillhead Farm, Chagford
Devon TQ13 8DY
Tel. 01647 433433
Soil with the greatest fertility will produce food with the greatest nutritional worth
By raising our herds on nutrient-rich unimproved pastures the minerals and trace elements are retained in the beef. As all food originates in the soil, it follows that the soil with the greatest fertility (minerals and trace elements) will produce food of the highest nutritional worth.
In this country, land that has not been intensively farmed supports a well-established sward of grasses, herbs and other plants. Undisturbed by the plough for years, even centuries, such vegetation roots deeply to reach those minerals and trace elements which the cattle convert into life-enhancing vitamins, protein and healthy fat (marbling) that are essential to our well-being and immunities.
Graham Harvey, the agricultural story editor of The Archers, has just released his 4th book -- The Carbon Fields -- in which he explains how perennial plants on permanent grass-lands not only regenerate the structure and goodness in the soil, but also transmit these qualities through the animals that graze them; amongst other benefits, they carry omegas 3 and 6 in balance.
A recent report by a team based at Exeter University reinforces this understanding, finding that "animals grazed on diverse pastures such as heather moorland provide the most healthy and delicious farmed meat money can buy". (Western Morning News 11th Feb 2009)