Over 10 years ago, local farmer and identity the late Marmaduke Spencer-Bower, sent us clippings from a then 130-year-old Facts for Farmers handbook.
We were intrigued to see Gorse included in the forage section;
“ Gorse – This, which is grown as a forage crop, yields a pretty large amount of nutritive food, highly relished by stock. It is very hardy, and may be grown upon almost any description of soil.
Before being used for food, it is necessary to break or bruise the spines with a machine, or by means of a hand-breaker (and spirit-breaker- Ed). The land on which gorse is grown should be kept carefully free from weeds. The seed is sown in drills, 18 inches to two feet apart, the sowing to be done in the end of March or beginning of April and at the rate of 8lbs to 10lbs the acre-more if required. The first cutting may be obtained in the fall of the second year. Its principal advantage as a forage plant is the supply of green food which it provides during the winter months.” Source- Facts for Farmers
As one or two members of the team here at Luisetti Seeds are renowned for having Gorse in their pockets, I’m sure we can help should you wish to try using Gorse to fill that winter-feed gap.