Articles, Blog

Making t/ Connection Chp 5 Farming

November 3, 2019

I live in the countryside and I see how much
of the land is potential, it’s just not being used and in Hampshire, a lot of the land is
devoted to stables and horses. So we could actually change the land use to
benefit the wildlife, the planet, the animals and us. A lot of people ask me “would the landscape
look monotonous without lifestock?”, I mean I could say that we’ve actually created an
artificial landscape, which was more diverse before with trees and wildlife, and we would
actually encourage the diversity of crops. We would be seeing orchards of nuts and fruit,
we would encourage a lot of understory, shrub layers of soft fruit, and great diversity
of vegetables and cereal crops. It would actually be a much better mixture
of crops instead of huge mono-cultures of acres and acres. Because of diversity, you would get more habitat
for the wildlife, it would actually encourage the wildlife, which is under great pressure
with the current conventional farming. The bees here are very important, they actually
operate at much lower temperatures than honey bees. They come out earlier and they feed later,
so you’re getting good pollination. I know also here there are three species of parasitic
wasp, which means that you have a reduction in caterpillar numbers which cause a great
deal of damage to cabbages and broccoli and kale, and hardly any damage is seen here. The hedgerows are kept very, very thick, they
are not cut every year, so they are richer for wildlife. They are also connecting annuals between the
hedgerows across the fields which act as beetle-banks and wildlife corridors. What these methods do is, they actually benefit
the biodiversity. You have more predators, which keep a balance. You don’t have the pest, the disease problems. Could we manage on a plant-based diet in the
UK? A lot of work being done with agroforestry
is showing that we could have a lot of the crops growing here that we’re actually importing
at the moment. A lot of things could still be grown outside,
we wouldn’t have to have heated greenhouses. Even just with the poly-tunnel that we’re
seeing here, it’s surprising what you can achieve. We have now several stock-free, commercial
stock-free farms like this one. We know that these methods work. Stock-free organic farming is a system of
food production which excludes any animal-byproducts or any dependance on animal inputs at all. It’s not just about growing crops, it’s also
about the way we interact with what goes on within nature around us. We’ve been doing it now for 15 or 16 years,
it’s working very well, people are very happy with it. I mean, it’s nice to have people back on the
land, working land and everybody more than happy to be doing it. We’ve developed a system of fertility building,
which relies very much on green manures so we’re using plants to produce nutrients which
are fixed from the air to improve biodiversity and not relying on importing somebody else’s
land to support our fertility, which is what most conventional and organic production is
dependent on. We’ve kind of designed this system, which
is more or less independent of exterior forces and because we’re building carbon in the soil
this is particularly important. I mean, a very small increase in organic content
in the soil has a huge effect in terms of carbon entrapment, in fact this is one of
the biggest carbon sinks possible – soil. So it’s not only good for animals, it’s also
very good for carbon capture which is obviously good for climate change. So we’re building organic material and the
only way to build organic material long-term is through plants, you cannot do it through
manure cause manure dissipates into the environment quickly, it gets broken down, whereas plants
they leave roots in the ground which gradually decay and become carbon. In here is actually four different types of
green manure, four different plants, all doing slightly different things, but all building
fertility and the final outcome of this is a soil which is very friable, good population
of worms, easily worked, doesn’t take as much energy to soil when it’s in good condition and
very good for plant roots. So this forms the base fertility for future
cropping. You’ve got a whole range of crops, 70 different
types of vegetables. Almost 300 sowings a year, almost one sowing
everyday on averages so it’s making the best possible use of land to feed people which
is really what farming should be doing. I do very much hope that there will be a move,
a transition from the conventional type of agriculture we have now to a stock-free agriculture
in the future. Stock-free farming could support people in
developing countries as well as here, the same techniques would be beneficial. We would actually not use the vast amounts
of water, land, food to support the livestock. We would actually create more tree habitats,
making a difference with climate change.


  • Reply Lianne Beijer November 3, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I love these video's 🙂

  • Reply Rajeev November 4, 2010 at 2:29 am

    /watch?v=H6z6-GD2POY (Add youtube .com before the slash) I think you guys can borrow and learn a lot from this guy. I live in the UK and visited this great man 2 months ago.This is the right way to farm, this is the only sustainable farming that will live a few decades into the future.And if this has any relevance "it is the Gandhi" method of farming.

  • Reply Cernunnas January 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    i would SOOO give all what i have now to change my urban life style and become a farmer like them…

  • Reply Daniel Pooly March 21, 2011 at 11:31 am

    go the vegans!

  • Reply bradford71us August 10, 2011 at 1:54 am

    @Cernunnas im a rural farmer…..what you seek is not as hard as you imagine.

  • Reply anatoriac November 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    People always ask "can everyone survive on a plant based diet?" but the real question should be "can we continue on an animal-based diet?"

  • Reply Vasile D November 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I was in this farm… Just one word, which will tell everything "fantastic"

  • Leave a Reply