Confound Christmas consumerism with a gift for the world!
Huxhams Cross Farm (above) needs investment and here’s why. In the UK and Europe, small farms are getting swallowed up by big ones – 3% of farms own 52% of EU land.
Ecological farms such as 34-acre Huxhams Cross Farm in Dartington, Devon benefit the bigger picture.
Unlike industrial farms, they practice farming in a virtuous cycle. Every good thing leads to the next.
For instance, the farmers at Huxhams Cross Farm are alleviating climate change by capturing carbon in the soil. Carbon-rich soil is fertile soil full of too-tiny-to-see-with-naked-eye microbial creatures which break down nutrients to feed it to the crops, and build fertility year-on-year.
As well as alleviating climate change and healing the land with biodynamic farming methods, the farmers (below) are producing healthy nutritious local food. Talk about a win-win-win solution.
Tenanted by sustainability experts (above), the Apricot Centre, Huxhams Cross Farm has two cows, Damson and Daffodil, and a mobile flock of 100 White Leghorn chickens (below) whose biodynamic eggs are much in demand.
Apricot Centre co-directors and farmers Marina O’Connell and Bob Mehew (centre), joined by their grower, Dave Wright. [IMAGE: Beccy Strong].
Human-scale farms do more than produce good food. Along with a band of volunteers, Huxhams Cross Farm has raised a barn, and planted over 3,000 trees and over 2,000 soft fruits plants using permaculture design methods, building community with purposeful activity.
The farm grows wheat for local flour and trees for Dartington’s agroforestry project which is pioneering ways to make farming viable. Not to mention the farm’s weekly farm clubs and local food delivery service.
Huxhams Cross Farm has got this far thanks to community investment through Biodynamic Land Trust not-for-profit community shares. (Am the charity’s communications manager, she says, declaring an interest).
Now the developing farm needs further investment to build an on-farm centre for many worthwhile purposes.
The low-carbon centre will offer a kitchen for farm-to-fork cookery activities for children and adults, as well as jams, juices and chutneys production. It will be a training space for permaculture and biodynamic farming methods and a base for the Apricot Centre’s well-being service for vulnerable families.
Invest in Biodynamic Land Trust community shares for Huxhams Cross Farm to build this centre.
Do you know you can also invest in community shares on behalf of others, including children? Once you have invested, the Biodynamic Land Trust will send your recipient a card, followed by a share certificate in the name of the shareholder to be transferred to the recipient’s name when they reach 16. If they are interested they may also receive quarterly updates from the farms by email or post.
Together we can change the world for the better, one farm at a time.
Posted in eating well on a budget, food, health, organic, sustainable
Tagged biodynamic, biodynamic land trust, Christmas, community shares, Dartington, Devon, ecological, eggs, ethical investment, farms, gift, Huxhams Cross Farm, small, Totnes
I love working with the Biodynamic Land Trust. Then the dream thing happened and I went to Brussels for a few days for work. I am grateful to the Access to Land EU conference organisers for supporting my travel.
[Brexit rant: It took two hours by train from Kings Cross, London to Brussels – of course, am in Europe. I apologise for Brexit. In a loo in Brussels, graffiti proclaimed “I voted Remain” to which several had added, “me too” including me (always have felt tip for such occasions).]
Back to the conference: it was held during June heatwave in the peaceful and collegiate setting of the Franciscan centre, Notre Dame Chant d’Oiseau.
We held some of the workshop sessions outside under the comforting shade of a beautiful tree.
If you care about real food, you have to care about the land.
But land is not valued as a place to grow food. Land is seen as an investment – a place to lock in-money. The EU subsidy system distorts the market further, favouring rich landowners over small ecological farmers delivering healthy local food, and protection of soil and wildlife. (The EU is not perfect. Obvs. It needs reform.).
Brexit is a messy, expensive pain but it is also an opportunity to reshape UK farming, and many organisations are seizing the day.
26 June 2017: Brexit negotiations began, and 80 food and farming organisations released their food policy plan for agriculture, A People’s Food Policy.
The Biodynamic Land Trust was one of the 80 organisations supporting the People’s Food Policy.
The Biodynamic Land Trust’s current community share offer is for Huxhams Cross Farm in Dartington, south Devon (near Totnes). Below, is a picture of the farm’s magical wooded area where local children come to learn about land and farming, and be outdoors in nature. They love it.
I invite you to look at the Huxhams Cross Farm community share offer and hope you will be inspired to support this grassroots investment in community-owned farms for our sustainable future.
Posted in food, health, organic, producers, rant, sustainable
Tagged #Accesstoland, access, biodynamic, Brexit, community shares, ecological, EU, Europe, farms, land, organic, small farms, sustainable