Below, we’ve highlighted stories from our e-newsletter, The ORFC Review. You can catch up on the latest stories from the food and farming frontlines in The ORFC Review Issue #1, Issue #2 and Issue #3. Sign up for our newsletter here!
The Black-led grassroots collective, Land in Our Names (LION), organised several hugely popular sessions at this year’s Oxford Real Farming Conference, which addressed the racial inequality of farmers and land distribution in the UK. After three weeks of intense protest in the UK and around the world as the result violence towards black people, LION urges us all to reimagine a Britain where the dynamics of land stewardship have changed and we work together to heal the trauma of the past.
In June 2020, the first peasant bakery opened its doors on the St David’s peninsula in Wales. Run by ORFC regular, Rupert Dunn, Torth Y Tir sold its first official loaves from heritage wheat that Rupert planted in fields nearby. One of the founders of the UK CSA Network, Rupert took the bold decision to become a producer himself. Through the French Peasant seeds network, Reseau Semance Paysanne, he was able to study with peasant bakers, including Nicolas Supiot (who spoke at ORFC this year)….here he shares with us the countdown to the opening day.
The last three months have been a time of great uncertainty for many farmers and food producers, but for Jackie Bridgen and her family they also presented the opportunity to realise their dream of starting a CSA.
Neil is the fourth generation of his family to farm Hill Top Farm, a 1200 acre upland farm with 140 Belted Galloway cattle and 250 sheep near Malham in North Yorkshire. The lockdown has meant no more rugby and national park meetings or nights in the pub but otherwise life at Hill Top has carried on much the same as normal for this time of year; a daily routine of checking the fields for newborns, helping ewes in trouble, and encouraging new lambs to suckle. Here Neil gives us a glimpse of life on the farm for the last week of April.
As Britain went into lockdown, millions of people across the country lost their jobs and the ability to access nutritious food. With the government and other organisations struggling to meet the need, community food groups have stepped forward providing emergency resources and services where others could not.
As the coronavirus pandemic affects every area of the food supply chain, the ORFC team find out how Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), box schemes and others working with shorter supply chains are responding to the sudden huge demand for their supplies.