Seven years ago Joanne Mudhar used her life savings to buy 12 acres of agriculturally depleted land and started turning it into Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm. Today she has an young, embryonic, community-focused business – but not without its scares and hard work! To read more click on the post title or image.
Welcome to my journey around local, sustainable food production in England and Wales. A journey among the passionate and committed....a story of unlikely heroes.
Professor Martin Wolfe, owner and creator of Wakelyns Agroforestry Farm, has developed a wheat population which is highly resilient, producing a good yield despite diseases, pests, weeds and climatic variation. He needs no chemicals to keep it safe. Only trouble is, in this world controlled by the large corporates, it’s currently illegal to sell the seed to other farmers! To read more click on the post title or image.
Ethical, raw, Jersey milk from ‘purely pasture’ fed cows allowed to keep their own calves, may seem a pipedream, but its pipedream which is being made real at Calf at Foot Dairy just outside of Lowestoft. It is one of only two dairies in the UK using the ‘calf at foot dairying’ methods. To read more click on the post title or image.
The Growing Together project in the Cross Green area of Leeds has been selected as one of five finalists in the People’s Projects competition funded by the National Lottery. Growing Together is thus on the brink of acquiring the funds to plant a community orchard just a mile from Leeds city centre…..the project just needs to be chosen as one of the winners. That outcome is in your hands – the winner is chosen by public vote!! To read more click on the post title or image.
Iain Tolhurst has to be one of the legends of the sustainable, small scale farming scene. Producing fruit and veg now for over forty years, Tolhurst Organics is not only organic but certified ‘Stock Free’ – and indeed was the first farm in the world to achieve the ‘Stockfree Organic’ status attributed by the Vegan Organic Network. Through such a accolades, Iain is much sought after for his advice on market garden design and practices. To read more click on the post title or image.
I’d never seen a field of cannabis before, but there it was, right in front of my very eyes – and in rural Oxfordshire. And, it was all totally above board with the crop being grown with appropriate licence from DEFRA. Here was what might in time prove to be the beginning of usage of this remarkable crop for a whole plethora of purposes. To read more click on the post title or image.
David and Anneke Blake have created a quite wondrous space in the form of Worton Organic Garden. Its a lush and rich, seemingly chaotic melee of organically grown fruit trees and bushes, gloriously intermingled with vegetables and herbs, with a few animals thrown in, and, in the midst of it all is a small shop and artisan cafe – L’Arte de Mangier Bene – open Fridays and weekends. To read more click on the post title or image.
Giving up a successful career in engineering to become a farmer seems to run in the family at Sandy Lane Farm, a traditional, family-run, mixed livestock and market garden farm on the outskirts of Oxford. Judging by the evidence of the produce from the farm, such a background does not seem to get in the way of the farming! To read more click on the post title or image.
One of the most resounding success stories in the ‘alternative food production’ arena has to be OrganicLea. Based in the Lea Valley to the north east of London, it is a workers co-operative of a dozen or so growers and the like which produces a vast array of produce which is subsequently distributed locally via weekly box schemes. To read more click on the post title or image.
Activity across the Growing Communities Patchwork Farm builds to a climax each week on a Tuesday evening. It’s then that all the salad produce from across the farm patches reaches the ‘mixing and packing station’ of the Old Fire Station Yard on Leswin Road in Hackney. In a flurry of excitement, salad leaves and banter the incoming produce is magically transformed into the award-winning Hackney Salad, ready for distribution through 1000 or so veg boxes and a range of local shops and restaurants. To read more click on the post title or image.