HAVING DECIDED to let all the arable land on their Hereford farm, brothers David and Graham Powell faced a problem disposing of the manure generated from the farm”s 700-head sheep flock.

Housing the sheep during winter months for lambing presented an opportunity for a composting business to be established. The manure from the sheep had become a waste product so they developed a way of using the surplus to their benefit.

The brothers decided to start an operation to turn the manure into a garden mulch and soil conditioner. By composting down the manure and straw mix over a period of three to four months the brothers developed Church Meadow Mulch – a product which is chemical and peat-free.

RES grant

Until now the farm has not invested in any specialist machinery, turning the compost is a task for the farm”s 20-year-old tractor and loader. However, having recently been awarded a Rural Enterprise Scheme (RES) grant the firm is now awaiting delivery of a Portsdown automatic bagging machine.

The bagging system is a specially designed setup which should greatly improve the firm”s efficiency particularly at the busiest times of the year.

Church Meadow Mulch is primarily destined for private gardens. It is sold in 40-litre bags at a price of 2.75.