I’m a novice farmer. My wife, dad and I are converting a disused cattle farm into a vegetable farm for natural dye plants, medicinal herbs and food, initially for self-consumption, with the aim of becoming a CSA. We’re inspired by the Fibershed model of soil-to-soil textile production within a local community of growers, weavers, dyers, makers and consumers. We’re part of the Landworker’s Alliance.
I see opportunities to establish short food chains and offer social farming programmes. Young farmers connecting and building strong community through alliances, organisations and events, will impact decision-making. They can create and agitate for tangible alternatives, based on a radical ethos of cooperation, not competition. Cooperation starts by recognising the systemic industrialisation of farming is failing consumers, farmers and our environment. Farms could become hubs for local communities, acting as catalysts for genuine progress, equality and regeneration.
I’d like better access to land, policy advancements towards food sovereignty, and an EU trade policy that supports local, small-scale production, incentivising sustainability, so landworkers can earn a real living. Also, a divestment from over-fertilisation and livestock farming, a diversification of crops and farms (fabric, dye, food, animal, agroforestry, carbon etc.), more CSAs, and an end to inefficient land use.