Society has forgotten its connection to the land.

Modern industrial agriculture is damaging our health, local economies, nature and global climate systems…

We can live more harmoniously on this earth by transitioning to a more plant and tree based, regenerative agriculture.

A movement towards a more sustainable and ethical agricultural system could empower local communities through self-provision, independence from the corporate food system and rural revitalisation.

The global community can mitigate extreme climate change through carbon sequestration, soil carbon conservation and reduced emissions associated with industrial agriculture.

Agroecology is the ultimate goal of a sustainable agricultural system

Agroforestry will become a major part of the necessary agroecological movement;
it is simply the integration of trees on farms and agricultural land.

Alleycropping wheat with hazel trees

Trees can produce a desirable yield of food, timber and fuel, alongside more conventional annual crops, more commercially novel perennial crops, or livestock.

Trees provide many ecological services that can lead to a more consistently productive farm:
-Soil stabilisation and conservation
-Water regulation including flood control and moisture retention
-Crop disease prevention
-Nitrogen fixation.

Oak tree in hedgerow

Aside from these advantages that are directly economically and ecologically beneficial, trees provide habitat for wildlife in a fragmented landscape and beauty for all of us.

Agroforestry is old…

It’s been practiced in the Tropics and the Mediterranean for over 4000 years.

Despite this, agroforestry in the ‘West’ only caught on in the 1970s, when the public began to realise the frightening scale of our environmental impact on the land.

Now there are global organisations dedicated to  promoting agroforestry related policies in government.

Presently, around 2,700 farmers are practising agroforestry in the USA, their motives being to reduce erosion, fix nitrogen, build biomass, improve soil fertility and spread economic risk.

Food Forests= Ultimate agroforestry system

Multi-strata ‘Food Forests’ or ‘Woodland Gardens’ have been described as one of the most diverse and agroecologically sound forms of agroforestry.

All three dimensional space is utilised: canopy trees support climbing vines; under these are the herbaceous/bushy plants, and at the bottom is the ground cover. This stratification of space occurs below ground too, with different species of plant occupying different layers of the soil.

With the correct choice of species, and the use of weather-protective structures like geodesic domes or biospheres, we can be harvesting from every layer all year round even in temperate climates like the UK and Europe.

Introduction to Permaculture

Earth Care
Fair Share
People Care

Permaculture is an ethics based practice of systematic design that can be applied to land management at every scale.

“Permaculture offers ways we can design human habitat, places for people to be, that work with nature.”

Permaculture Association

– It promotes diversity and closed loop systems (valuing ‘waste’ products)
– It integrates efficient use of resources: water, soil, time, organic inputs, energy and space
– It considers all beings: human, animal, plant and fungi as valuable entities.

An example of a permaculture design map

Permaculture aims to increase both yield and labour productivity through planning and diversity.

It is sustainable in its very nature, minimising external inputs and maximising internal resource capture, storage and even multiplication.

Integration of permaculture into farming

Earth Care

  • Reduced whole farm carbon footprint and increased carbon sequestration
  • Improved soil fertility and health
  • Increased on-farm biodiversity
  • Increased water holding capacity and reduced contribution to local flooding
  • Reduced requirement for external inputs

Fair Share

  • Increased yields of food and other farm products per unit area
  • UK with a strong and diverse food economy, a net exporter of food
  • Strengthened local resilience and enhanced regional food economies
  • Greater awareness and involvement of the public in farming

People Care

  • Improved farmer incomes and increased employment opportunities
  • Improved farmer quality of life,
  • Greater opportunities for new entrants and the involvement of more young people

We can create win-win-win agricultural systems by switching to more agroecological practices:
better food, more wildlife, more adaptable landscapes to extreme weather, climate change mitigation, even reduced unemployment as more people are employed on the land.

Please join me in striving to live more harmoniously with our land and reconnecting with our roots