A really informative interview from one urban farmer to another. Curtis Stone the SPIN Farmer interviews Chris Thoreau from The Food Pedalers a co-operative growing microgreens for Vancouver. They are growing in a modified shipping container that is fully insulated and used for year round growth, it takes advantage of natural light as well as using artificial.They sell to anyone local; restaurants, wholesalers, grocers, farmers markets and families, all delivered on their push irons (bicycles).
With no experience in farming, the Sousek family left their urban life in Kent to run a farm powered by solar panels, a wind turbine and waste vegetable oil
Agriculture is responsible for almost 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and a quarter globally. It doesn’t have to be this way, as farmers Paul and Celia Sousek demonstrate. Their commitment to organic farming without the use of fossil fuels demonstrates that far from contributing to climate change, agriculture can be part of the solution. I headed to Cottage Farm near Jacobstow, North Cornwall to see how on-farm renewables are enabling the Sousek family to fulfil their role as stewards of the environment as they cultivate a successful, family-run farm business.
It’s hard to believe that Paul and Celia Sousek, Farmer of the Year finalists in the BBC Food and Farming awards 2011, had absolutely no farming experience when they upped sticks and moved 300 miles West to Cottage Farm back in 2005. Unfazed, they embarked on their new livelihoods with a weekend course in Cows for Beginners and now oversee 50 hectares of land which is home to cows, sheep, hens and some very vocal geese. So why did the couple leave behind successful careers and the life they had built in Kent to take to the Cornish fields?
“That’s a simple one to answer”, says Paul. “I learnt about peak oil. Right on cue we then had the oil crisis in 2007, swiftly followed by the financial meltdown in 2008. Some believe that has all been resolved, but together with the ever worsening climate change situation, I think our problems are only just beginning.”
Continue reading “Cornwall’s Carbon Neutral Farm Offers Hope For Sustainable Agriculture”
I found this documentary really excellent. Its definitely worth watching the full thing but I found it particularly fascinating (at 20min, 24seconds) when the lady speaks about her farm having 20 different species of grass on her pastures. She goes on to explain how this enables her to have a constant ground cover all year round and due to how dense the roots are it holds and binds the soil together preventing the hooves tearing it up. Really quite amazing information on how biodiversity of grass species is the key to farming cattle year on year without the ground being damaged by the animals them selves, lets the farm continue on without being affected by things such as global oil prices too.
“Wildlife film maker Rebecca Hosking investigates how to transform her family’s farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, and discovers that nature holds the key.
With her father close to retirement, Rebecca returns to her family’s wildlife-friendly farm in Devon, to become the next generation to farm the land. But last year’s high fuel prices were a wake-up call for Rebecca. Realising that all food production in the UK is completely dependent on abundant cheap fossil fuel, particularly oil, she sets out to discover just how secure this oil supply is.+
Alarmed by the answers, she explores ways of farming without using fossil fuel. With the help of pioneering farmers and growers, Rebecca learns that it is actually nature that holds the key to farming in a low-energy future.
This documentary was first shown in 2009 on BBC2 as part of the Natural World series.”
Original Title: The power of community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil
Very interesting documentary on how Cuba survived the “peak oil” crisis forced upon it by the fall of the Soviet Union and also US sanctions.
“When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half and food imports cut by 80 percent, people were desperate. This fascinating and empowering film shows how communities pulled together, created solutions, and ultimately thrived in spite of their decreased dependence on imported energy. In the context of global Peak Oil worries, Cuba is an inspiring vision of hope.”