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Oakbrook update!

Dear Oakbrook Members, Supporters and Friends,

We proudly announce the launch of our very own micro dairy -
a micro dairy for Stroud Raw Milk coming to Stroud!
 
By March, our dairy will be producing delicious and healthy raw milk, yoghurt and kefir using the raw milk from our seven cows. (See below new dairy cows and heifers)
Stroud Micro Dairy
launch on Saturday the 4th of February
as Stroud’s only raw milk dairy,
producing raw milk in Stroud
for the people of Stroud


We are hosting a small get together at the Stroud Brewery at 3.15pm, do join us
This is the second enterprise to get started on Oakbrook Farm and in the next few years we hope to see a thriving community of six or seven different community agriculture enterprises and activities on this land.
 
Stroud Micro Dairy is proud to be working in tandem with the Stroud Community Agriculture.

The Micro Dairy will run on a community membership basis using annual milk shares. A share is simply the number of litres of raw milk, yoghurt or kefir that you will want every week for a year; people will be able to sign up from the 4th of February (including at our launch).

"Stroudco FOODHUB - keeping it local" recently said in their weekly news blog in Stroud Life "Stroudco is now supporting Kees to set up his micro-dairy on part of this new land. Unpasturised (or raw) milk is becoming increasingly popular and some believe that the heat treatment involved in pasturisation damages many of the minerals and vitamins contained in raw milk and denatures some of the milk proteins and makes most of the calcium in milk indigestible."

Why do we farm: to do good and regenerate soils (and we love it).


Our Micro Dairy farming practices regenerative agriculture which, inspired by permaculture, biodynamics and organic farming, is a type of farming that revolves around biology and the sun to grow plant matter and soils, and we work to positively impact the soils, animals, communities and nature that surround us. The farm is in conversion to organic and biodynamic (Demeter) and registered with BDA Certification.
 
The support and help we have received from friends, family, members of the community, Stroud Community Agriculture and the Biodynamic Land Trust is heart-warming and we could never have done it without them. Thank you.

It is great to be a new addition to the Community Supported Agriculture family in Stroud; instead of veg shares, ours will be milk. As Oakbrook Farm converts to Biodynamics, I look forward to working together with Mark, Sam, Clare and Sylvie of the SCA to create a diversified farming collective in the spirit of the farm organism.

There is still a lot to do and it is all very exciting, erecting fencing, installing water for the cows or commissioning a little dairy in which to make our yogurt and kefir, and chill our milk. Over the course of this winter the farm will start to take shape. The cows have just arrived and we would love for you to meet them. You will find them in the fields so come and say hello. Do get in touch if you have any questions, or would like to lend a hand. I would love to hear from you.

Hopefully see you all on the 4th for the launch at Stroud Brewery
Kees

Oakbrook Footpaths and Right of Way (ROW)

Some concern has been expressed about the footpath across the arable field and the veg patches and now the electric cattle fence and new stile.

We have for many months been in contact and discussion with the ROW officer of the Gloucestershire Ramblers and also the GCC ROW officer. These two officials came recently to inspect the site and changes as reported to them by some runners.

We have discussed the situation and signage and how best to work with the fencing required for the good management of the dairy cattle and grazing.

We realise that any changes or extra barriers to negotiate are not welcomed by those who are trying to run and walk across a field. We are taking into account the multiple needs of path users and developing agriculture on site and seeking to find the most suitable arrangement in respect of these needs.

So having taken advice from these specialists there will some further minor changes but they have recognised that the deviations from the path's original line are minor and support the good agricultural use of this field.

We do apologise for any inconvenience experienced by path users from these developments and hope that all parties can also appreciate the growing improvements and development of a more community orientated agriculture and the development of sustainable food production for Stroud.

We ask that users of the right of way and of the permissive paths on the farm respect the livestock and their needs as well as the necessary fencing, gates etc.

We hope you enjoy your walks. If you would like to join our team of volunteers who are planting hedges and doing other enjoyable caring jobs around the farm do email volunteers@oakbrookfarm.org.uk or ring .....

Please collect and remove from the farm any dog poo as this can carry parasites and medication that is toxic or problematic for cattle and especially pregnant cows (as well as children).

If there is any aspect of this or other changes that you would like to discuss with farmer, grower or Biodynamic Land Trust do get in touch with us.

 

Oakbrook Farm development and volunteering

Oakbrook Farm has its own fledgling website now on which you can check out volunteering days and there will be more information in the future. (More information about the Starter Farm at SCA and Milk shares can also be found on their website)

If you have not yet had the time or luck to be able to join a volunteering day but would like to be kept in touch do email Pete on volunteers@oakbrookfarm.org.uk  to let him know to put you on the information list. If you would like to help with other activities than those listed below such as website development, event organising, and more, do also email on that address with your area of interest and expertise. Thank you

For the first few months of this year our focus will be on:
  • mulching and generally looking after the newly-planted hedgerows
  • building and maintaining stiles and fences
  • clearing and re-using fallen wood, either by creating benches or fences, or by improving the habitat for insects and wildlife
  • clearing brambles

Like last year, we have decided to hold our work days on the third Sunday of every month. Therefore, the next few dates for your diaries are:

  • Sunday, 19th February
  • Sunday, 19th March
  • Sunday, 16th April
  • Sunday, 21st May.

Come along at 10am and stay for as long as you can. Bring refreshments and lunch if you wish, and gardening tools such as spades, secatuers, gloves, etc. (We are hoping to be able to start storing some equipment on site soon which will help with logistics.) Car parking is available through the main gate along Painswick Old Road, just before Hawkwood College.


Are you interested to know more about biodynamics?
In conversations and in the survey done last year many Oakbrook members expressed an interest in learning more about biodynamics.

We would like to suggest that the above workshop should be very interesting and give a very wide perspetive and is relatively local; being held in the Forest of Dean.
Other Biodynamic workshops are advertised on the BDA website: see in particular another local one BDAC soil seminar Sat 11th – Thu 16th March at Abbey Home farm – GL7 5HF -  The Biodynamic Agricultural College offers this seminar to anyone who would like to learn about soil from an organic and biodynamic perspective.
There will be more opportunities coming up to help with biodynamic preparations on Oakbrook; we will keep you posted.
 

With best wishes from the Oakbrook team, & Land Trust team
Gabriel 
Copyright © 2017 Biodynamic Land Trust Ltd, All rights reserved.


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Biodynamic Land Trust · Painswick Inn · Gloucester Street · Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 1QG · United Kingdom

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