Having seen the demise of the family dairy farm, the Rose brothers were determined to carry on the family farming tradition, but in a more sustainable way, both economically and ecologically. In 2002 Rosewood was purchased after 10years of farming rented land in the locality, and it is believed we were the first farm in the UK to use our pioneering High Intensity/Low Frequency (HILF) grazing system on a commercial basis.
Robert discovered the technique from Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in America and implemented it here a.s.a.p. It mimics the natural behaviour of the vast grazing herds of wildebeest, bison and reindeer, and the techniques of our nomadic herding ancestors by moving the cattle onto a fresh strip of lush grass every single day, rather than letting them wander the same patch of ground, continually nipping off new growth from the grass. Because the cattle are moving off old ground and onto new each day, the grass has time to recover and soak up free energy from the sun, rather than getting worn out and constantly requiring top ups of fertiliser and seeds. Parasites are also never given a chance to build up as by the time they have hatched, the cattle have long since moved on to clean ground.
This way of grazing is very efficient, preventing any wastage and ensuring weeds are eaten and disappear naturally over time, and manure is distributed evenly rather than in favourite dunging areas (e.g: around water troughs and under trees) and therefore prevents undesirable nutrient transfer to these areas. Chemical fertilisers, rotuine worming, grain feeding and almost all tractorwork has been eliminated from the beef and lamb production process, making it highly sustainable meat. As a consequence we have seen increased demand for the herds to graze specialist habitats overlying the glacial sands such as lowland heath regeneration near Allerthorpe Common and surrounding the Pocklington canal.
Robert (left) and Paul (right) with some of the Dexter herd
Rosewood Farm lies in the Lower Derwent Valley, an internationally recognised wetland habitat of importance with NNR, SSSI and SPA status. It is run by brothers Paul and Robert Rose and Robert's wife, Natalie.
At Rosewood, every day is 'Open Farm Sunday'. Although we're not an 'open farm' as such, we have a completely open door policy - you can see and ask about every single part of the production of your food from us. We won't shy away from questions, however searching, 'silly' or gruesome, as we are proud of what we do and feel we have nothing to hide. Just give us a ring to check we're around before you pop in!