Pen-y-banc is no longer a sheep or dairy farm, but, since the creation of the Ceridwen Centre 15 years ago, new projects and ideas have made it a continually dynamic and challenging farm of a different kind.
With nearly 40 acres of green pasture, cattle or sheep can sometimes be seen grazing on the land but the only permanent resident animals on the farm are the chickens, dogs and cats. You can spot some of our wonderful wildlife day or night, whether it be badger sets in the hedgerow or one running down the lane as you arrive in the dark. The buzzards and kites swoop over, eyeing up the small land mammals.
We want to be one of the many producers in the area who encourage to buy local and help create awareness about making a more informed decision of where to shop and what to eat. In the full flow of summer, we sell organic veg to our friends and guests at Ceridwen – order before you come or decide whilst you’re here. It works for everyone, it tastes so much better, is rewarding to grow and we only have to walk into the garden to ‘go shopping’! The seasonal production in our organic market garden has been extended thanks to a new large polytunnel, which means more year round vegetables and salad crops. We often have fresh eggs, so order some you come or let the kids come and collect them.
Our green policy includes using all biodegradable cleaning products and washing liquids, recycling plastics, tins, glass and card and also recycling in the re-using sense. There is a compost bin in the kitchen of Ceridwen to help stop less waste going to landfill and to help nourish the garden.
In restoring the old buildings, we use lime plaster and reclaimed timber. In redecorating we use organic, non VOC paint such as clay paints.
All heating and hot water demands in Ceridwen and the other buildings on the farm are served by the centralised 50 kw biomass boiler and solar water heating. Since taking the centre over in 2004 we have made it a priority to realise and lessen our environmental responsibility. This means coming to stay at Ceridwen will positively reduce your overall carbon footprint for you, your friends and family than if you were to stay somewhere with a more conventional heating system. Woodchip is made on-site with logs from a local, managed forest and the leftover ash is added in small quantities to the compost heap and around the orchard trees. In the sunnier months, hot water for all the buildings is provided by solar tubes which are sited on most of the roof tops.
Photovoltaic panels are new for 2012 and are hoped to contribute substantially to overall electricity usage. As such, we ask our guests to be mindful of their surroundings and how their energy consumption can be most efficient. The most recently renovated buildings excel in terms of energy use but every bit closer to zero carbon is a positive one.