The current challenge for farmers is to meet the growing demand for local food production whilst ensuring long-term sustainability. Trees on farms can provide a range of benefits; shade & shelter, water & soil management, food, fodder, timber and fuel all of which can contribute to this challenge.
Running from March to December 2014 this is a vocational training and work placement programme for new entrants and employees wanting to develop their food growing, local marketing and small business skills.
Now in its 20th year of publication, the 10th edition of the Organic Farm Management Handbook will be available in early February 2014. This is a ‘must have’ publication for everyone interested in the business of organic farming and growing. The new edition provides an update on CAP reform developments as well as on organic markets as growth finally returns. Detailed gross margin and farm income data help provide insights into the real costs of running an organic farm.
About 70 of us set off from the Oxford Real Farming conference at 7:30 AM this Tuesday to politely protest outside the doors of the OFC and talk to delegates about how we felt our voices were being excluded from the debate about farming.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) conference and national network launch – The Subscription Rooms, Stroud, Gloucestershire – December 2nd and 3rd 2013
I was one of just over 100 people who attended this event, brilliantly organised and generously supported by the Soil Association, in the centre of Stroud. I was also kindly allowed to set out a table and give away information... and badges.
Have you got some good WWOOFing tales to tell from 2013? Would you like to spread the word about WWOOF in 2014 and encourage more people to join us? We are looking for hosts or WWOOFers based in the UK who would be willing to share their knowledge and experience of WWOOF with a range of audiences in their immediate locality - be it at a festival, show, local farmers market or a WI/transition town meeting. Materials and training will be provided along with expenses. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The return to the tradition of WWOOFing for the weekend got off to a great start in Todmorden on 16/17th November when 8 WWOOFers assembled at Back Rough Farm. Each of them had travelled no more than 50 miles (indeed some were so close they walked!). All of them were delighted to "meet the others," pick up some organic growing knowledge - but most importantly to be "doing it on their doorstep". There is already talk of a repeat event in the Spring and how these WWOOFers and hosts can remain networked inbetween.
Soil degradation is the largest potential disaster facing us all said Monty Don at the recent Soil Association Conference. We may think that we are protected from this in the South West where so much of our land is used for grazing livestock. This may be true as far as soil organic matter is concerned but can we all say that we make the best use of all the nutrients available for our soils and that we understand all we need to about the organisms in the soil which we rely on to work for us.