12:02 pm, August 31, 2009
When I drive to Perth I like to count the number of fields that are growing food for people to eat. Of the 45 fields that I count, one and a half have vegetables growing in them, 3 have cattle in them and 3 more have seed potatoes, a small proportion of which will be eaten. What is growing in the remaining 37 fields? Most are growing cereals, the majority of which will be fed to animals. Can organic farming feed the world? Yes I believe that it can, but we will need to start growing vegetables in our fields. Locally grown, organic vegetables are the solution to global warming, carbon footprint, diet, health, rural depopulation and food security. And yet we arent growing any!
Well, actually I am growing some on Blackruthven farm for their own kitchen and I have the skills and equipment to do it. But we still aren’t growing any ‘at home’. The reason is that I dont have customers for them.
Supermarkets would rather bring vegetables from distant shores, and setting up alternatives to supermarkets is very difficult.
The solution seems to be Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The principle is that a group of people ask a local farmer to grow the food that they want to eat. The group gets a supply of locally grown, fresh fruit and vegetables. They can set the standards, choose the crops, help out -if they want. They can share ideas and recipes and meet to discuss issues or enjoy the produce. The farmer gets a reliable outlet for his produce and everyone can reduce wastage and delivery costs. For more information have a look at the Soil Association’s website.
They have information and some great examples of highly successful schemes. In particular be sure to look at Earthshare’s website. They run one of the best schemes in the world, right here in Scotland.
If you are interested in organic fruit and vegetables I would love to grow them for you, with or without CSA. Get in touch and we can make a start. Hugh. mobile 07747717276.