As part of my Trustee induction, a few weeks ago found me at an organic dairy getting up close and personal with Soil Association Certification inspection procedures with one of our senior inspectors. Like many consumers who regularly buy organic food, I've often wondered exactly what goes on and how certification officers ensure that their licensees are doing what they are supposed to be doing.
21 July 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 0 Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall:
For many of us, especially those who grow our own, the idea that organically produced fruit and veg is good for you just seems instinctively right. When you know what has – and hasn’t – gone into the soil and how little the sophisticated processes of nature have been interfered with by the grower, then the inherent vital, vibrant goodness of the resultant crop seems obvious. I grow organically both at home and at River Cottage and I can see the positive effects on the environment – the soil brimming with worms, the abundance of insects and wildlife – as well as tasting them in the quality of the fruit and veg I harvest.
15 July 2014 | 9 Comments
| Recommended by 12 Marianne Landzettel:
Legislators in the US state of Minnesota took action after a study done last year by Friends of the Earth US found more than half of all bee-friendly plants bought in nurseries to be contaminated with neonicotinoids. Why is this important to us, you may ask, the EU has banned neonicotinoids for a two year trial period, all should be well.
04 July 2014 | 1 Comments
| Recommended by 4 Alex Firman:
Well, our hedgehog is certainly out of hibernation now thanks to the warm (and sometimes wet) June weather, although sadly I don’t have the photos to prove it - apparently our little hedgehog is a wee bit camera shy. Although hibernation is long past, I will still be putting out food and water for our hedgehog who will be low on energy after their long sleep. I’m sure anything that makes foraging that bit easier will be appreciated.
27 June 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 1 Traci Lewis:
At our recent Big Food Debate in Plymouth we explored the issue of sustainable catering to find out what it really means and how we can achieve it. To help inform this debate we had a team of catering experts taking the floor including Brad Pearce of Plymouth City Council School Meals and Restaurateur Tim Bouget of ODE restaurant in Shaldon.
25 June 2014 | 1 Comments
| Recommended by 6 Marianne Landzettel:
'Keep Britain Buzzing' - thanks to campaigns like the one run by the Soil Association the message comes across loud and clear: around one third of our food crops depend on bees and other insects for pollination. And the bees are under threat with more and more beekeepers finding nothing but dead bees in their hives after the winter.
09 June 2014 | 7 Comments
| Recommended by 1 Traci Lewis:
Well our BFE is the Plymouth Big Food Event. A city-wide celebration of good food, from 10-14 June. A food event for the city, in which everyone can get involved. To kick things off we have a Big Food Debate, at the National Marine Aquarium on 10th June, an opportunity to debate and celebrate healthy and sustainable food. We are really pleased to have Carolyn Steele speaking, a leading thinker on food and cities who wrote Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives, an inspiration for our work in Plymouth.
06 June 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 9 Emma Heseltine:
Well here I am again; you might remember me from my two year blog about what life was like as a Soil Association apprentice… The Future Growers scheme has asked me for an update on how life has been treating me since I finished last July, so here we go! Since finishing the apprenticeship I have been working on expanding my pig business, The Rooted Pig.
02 June 2014 | 3 Comments
| Recommended by 4 Ben Raskin:
If you’ve been inspired to try some seed saving this year, but hadn’t planned it into your rotation then it's worth giving it a little bit of thought now before it's too late to change everything. For some crops it doesn’t make any difference. Beans and tomatoes for instance you can treat as you normally would and just keep some of the crop for seed.
19 May 2014 | 1 Comments
| Recommended by 0 Marianne Landzettel:
HRH Prince Charles admittedly talks to his plants, Dan and Theresa Podoll are having a whole conversation with theirs. But then the Podolls - award winning family-farmers in North Dakota - don’t just grow plants, they grow organic vegetables for seed production: seeds for plants that will be able to deal with the fast changing climate in the United States, colder winters and shorter growing seasons in the north, droughts in the south- and mid-west, unseasonal storms and flooding.
14 May 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 5 Rob Percival:
Carbon dioxide is present in the atmosphere today in a concentration that has not been seen since sabre-toothed cats and mastodons roamed a planet on which humans had never set foot - it was three million years ago and we had not yet evolved. In recent years we have poured huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We know that rising global temperatures are the result. But a study published last week revealed that increased levels of carbon dioxide will also make some of the world's most important foods less nutritious - and this has significant implications for millions of people.
12 May 2014 | 1 Comments
| Recommended by 12 Ben Raskin:
This week is National Composting week, which gives me the excuse to talk about one of my favourite subjects: compost. There’s something magical about the way that scraps and waste fruit and veg can turn into sweet smelling and nutritious crumbly brown soil food. And the best thing about this natural process is that you can do it on any scale – from municipal composters handling many tonnes a week to small compost bins in our houses. Here are my seven steps to perfect compost:
07 May 2014 | 12 Comments
| Recommended by 30 Lynda Brown:
Last Thursday the winners of this years BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme Food & Farming Awards were announced, including inspirational Halifax school cook Tony Mulgrove, who has been instrumental in helping Ravenscliffe school achieve a Food for Life Partnership gold award.
06 May 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 0 Traci Lewis:
Plymouth is very fortunate to be surrounded by rich agricultural land on one side and the sea on the other. Yet despite its advantaged location, very little of the food eaten in the city is actually sourced locally, or from its port which sees some of the biggest fish-landings in the UK. Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium are engaged in an ongoing effort to reconnect us with the fish we eat, so I asked Paul Cox who works there why we eat so little of what is actually caught locally.
02 May 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 3 Kathie Auton:
This week Organix is launching the No Junk campaign and are calling on parents to take on the challenge of ditching the junk from their family's food for a week and, instead, feeding the kids with real food. Real food that contains ingredients like 'tomatoes' instead of polymonoglockenspieldioxide*. They want us to read the label and reject any food that has ingredients we don't recognise or can't spell.
28 April 2014 | 1 Comments
| Recommended by 3 Lynda Brown:
Those of you following the great new wannabe national Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement will know that they need to raise enough money (£6,500 - a very modest amount by funding standards) to form a national self help network to help the movement go from strength to strength and become a viable alternative reality for everyone, town and country.
25 April 2014 | 1 Comments
| Recommended by 6 Peter Melchett:
The global fashion industry is worth over an estimated $2.5 trillion. Textiles, clothing and footwear employ more than 60 million people worldwide, meaning that 1% of the world's population is employed by the fashion and textiles sector. And fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only to oil in terms of its environmental impact – 25% of chemicals produced worldwide are used for textiles, with the industry the number two polluter of clean water after agriculture. Now the fashion industry is coming together to highlight the problems in the fashion supply chain, from exploitation to pollution. The first Fashion Revolution Day (FRD) on the 24th April 2014 will see a series of global events and initiatives, organised by designers, fashion labels, retailers and journalists, aimed at making change happen.
23 April 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 5 Rob George:
I was out to dinner with friends a couple of weeks ago and one of them, Luke Hasell asked if I could do some ploughing as he was so busy with all his other work. You may have heard of some of Luke's other work – as well as being one of the founders of the Community Farm he's also a Soil Association licensee and runs Eat Drink Bristol Fashion and Yurt Lush. I agreed to get out of the office and off my squeaky chair and help him out.
23 April 2014 | 11 Comments
| Recommended by 8 Kathie Auton:
In case you haven’t clocked it yet there’s a very cool competition running at the moment and it’s all about designing a henhouse. You need to get the kids to enter this competition. You must. It's open to anyone up to the age of 16 and that's the only downside, because I'd quite like to enter myself. Obviously, you'll need to tempt the kids in with the prize, which is a totally awesome Aardman model making session. Aardman of Shaun the sheep, Wallace and Gromit fame. A chance to do actual model making with Aardman - brilliant.
17 April 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 11 Lynda Brown:
As most people know, the new Organic Market Report is a corker (a fascinating read, nicely presented, and lots of feel good stats). Despite a dreadful recession - which all sectors of the food and farming industry have battled with and suffered from - and supposedly against all the odds, the organic market is back in growth. Frankly, it's looking buoyant, good-to-go, and fighting fit. Moreover the trend is global and includes textiles and health & beauty products too.
15 April 2014 | 0 Comments
| Recommended by 0