I started growing my own fruit and veg about ten years ago when I became more aware of the issues surrounding our current food system. I’d had no experience or training at all so I certainly learnt a lot in the first couple of years!
Some failures and some successes spurred me on to keep trying and keep learning which has eventually led me to joining the FarmStart programme.
My first love has always been horses and over the last 15 years I have focussed on natural systems for horses. Giving them as natural a lifestyle as possible allows them the freedom to express all their natural behaviours and allows them to live in a balanced way physically, mentally and emotionally. This led me to read a lot on the subjects of permaculture, agroecology, rewilding, regenerative farming and woodland management. I apply these principles to how I manage the land at home for the three horses who live here. As well as the wider circle of beings who share my home, from the bats to the bugs to the barn owls.
It has been an endless joy watching the horses’ health improve alongside the health of the land. As well as seeing how much biodiversity a small acreage like mine can support. The greater the biodiversity, the greater the health of the entire system, therefore the greater the health of all the beings, (myself included!) who live and dine here.
I feel it is the right time to expand the fruit and veg growing I do on site to try and provide organic, seasonal, sustainable food to my local community and become a grower full time.
For me one of the really important aspects of the FarmStart programme is to be able to connect with others with a shared vision of how our local food system could be in the future. I can’t quite believe how lucky I am to be on the FarmStart programme and to be learning from experts with a wealth of experience and knowledge in organic food production.
If you would like to find out more about the FarmStart programme and The Plot visit www.foodfutures.org.uk/theplot