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Farming 2018-04-28T12:48:59+00:00

The crops we grow in rotation are wheat, oilseed rape and fava beans. The wheat is grown to supply to flour mills in Northampton, the oilseed rape used to go to Germany for biodiesel but we now grow a variety used as an industrial lubricant, with the fava beans grown for export to Egypt and North Africa for falafel.

The soil in this part of Suffolk is a deep clay loam, which is a good soil for growing wheat on, but difficult to work when wet. So we are used to waiting for the right conditions and then working to make sure we keep the soil structure in the best possible condition.

Conservation

We were early advocates of improving habitats on the farm, having started in 1982, and each year we improve wildlife areas, ponds, hedges, the wood, and we plant field margins and corners with either bird food or pollinator plants. Having carried out these improvements for thirty-five years now the number of bird species counted by the RSPB on the farm has never been higher.

Wildlife

Chris Knock is happy to show visitors around the farm and explain how we are constantly striving to increase the resilience and sustainability of what we do – since protecting the soil, water and air quality is important for us now and for future generations to come. To read more about the wildlife we have on this land, please read our blog Birds Beautiful Birds

History of the Farm

In the late 1890’s Herbert and John Knock built up a thriving Shire Horse breeding line, and his stallions would be taken around the villages of mid-Suffolk to cover Suffolk mares, since there was demand at the time for some of the horses on farms to be longer-legged to speed up taking corn to the local mills and maltings.

In the 1930’s farming was hit hard, Manor Farm survived on John running a large flock of hens and selling the eggs direct to customers in Stowmarket. One of Chris’ first memories as a child in the 1960’s is sitting between to huge wicker baskets of eggs on our way to market. The land is in very good condition now, evident in the soil health by counting the amount of worms!

The Environment