i nearly didn’t write this one…

Finally there seems to be a glimmer of light at the end of our IT tunnel and the weather has finally improved. Our new IT system will allow us to do so much more and offer you our customers a much better service, we are starting to get excited now for our new website, and in the days and weeks to come you will start to see some amazing changes there too.

But today as I spotted a single beautiful cowslip on our farm, (Watch the little video here), flowers that were so amazing and ubiquitous in my grandad’s time, I decided it was time to get back to talking about what matters. Wild flowers and mushrooms were once commonplace in fields of grass around our lovely country, not so anymore. I don’t know about you, but the sight of a cowslip flower transports me back in time, to a time when the fields next to our family home were full of these beautiful flowers. Sadly, today, these flowers are not to be found in most farm grasslands, they have all but disappeared (as have the button mushrooms that also used to be commonly found in meadows).

The intensity and frequency of use of artificial fertilisers and herbicides is why diversity is disappearing. Even grass is sprayed to remove anything that is not grass, depriving the land of variety, variety being the cornerstone of all life. Such is the way of much of our production systems these days, large monocultures, engineered to produce at all costs. The one common theme that can be found in all of these food systems generally starts with an application of the chemical glyphosate which as a molecule looks benign enough, but is far from benign. (My years studying and working with chemicals has thought be that simple molecules are not necessarily harmless)

“Glyphosate is an essential component of integrated weed management and a resistance management tool. We must protect its efficacy to ensure we can continue to control critical grass weeds in the future”. Government agency

Integrated weed management like plant protection products is a term used by government agencies to allow us to feel more comfortable with the use of toxic chemicals in our food system. Glyphosate/Roundup is toxic, but the real issue with glyphosate is it’s prevalence, it is everywhere, in all of us, on all our food (not organic food though), it is the most sprayed chemical ever. The active ingredient in Roundup: glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in human history, nearly 10 billion kg have been used globally. It is a probable-carcinogen and it now contaminates most non-organic food stuffs. It is systemic in nature which means if it is sprayed on a crop then it gets absorbed and sits inside it. It destroys all life, and leaves fields barren and dead.

Using chemicals to fight nature will never work. In the short term it may give a temporary reprieve from a certain disease or pest, but that pest will come back stronger and more resistant next time. It is in a way a self-perpetuating industry.The advent of superweeds now require higher concentrations of glyphosate and mixtures of glyphosate and other toxic chemicals to control their spread.

Surely the production of food in a way that contributes to our health and the health of the planet, a way that enhances and protects biodiversity, a way that encourages working with nature rather than against it must be the best way to grow food?

Thank you for your support,