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Farming in Gower today

Farming is still a very important industry in Gower. The area was renowned for the quality of its root vegetables and Rhossili was a major production area for winter cauliflower in the UK. This is partly due to the frost-free climate, which helps to prevent the sensitive flowers of the plant from becoming damaged during cold weather. Vegetable farming is now quite rare on Gower due to changing markets and the farm economy, which has affected profitability and demand.

Livestock is still reared on Gower, with Welsh black beef – an ancient breed – being one of many speciality meats sold to restaurants and hotels around the world. Farming occurs all over Gower and even the sea plays an important role in the production of locally distinctive products. The sheep that graze on the saltmarshes, particularly around the Burry Inlet, produce uniquely flavoured meat due to their diet of saltmarsh plants such as samphire, thrift and marsh grasses.

Farming is hard work and all farmers must continually adapt to changes in the agricultural economy. Many local farms have diversified to new areas of business and now offer places to stay through holiday cottages, bed and breakfast, bunkhouses and campsites. These tourist-based schemes help to support local farmers so that they can continue to care and manage the Gower landscape for the benefit of us all. Other methods of diversification include local vegetable box schemes, micro-breweries and plant nurseries. Agriculture on Gower may have changed, but the enterprising spirit of local farmers remains strong.