ORFC 2022 Advance Supporter Tickets Now Available

ORFC Global 2021

Full Programme

This seven-day programme offers over 150 sessions that have been programmed with partners and farming communities from across six continents.  It includes a mix of talks, panel discussions, workshops and cultural events on everything from farm practice to climate justice to indigenous knowledge. Please take some time to explore!

Please note that although workshops are free to all registered delegates, separate, advance registration is required for all workshops, and spaces are limited. Workshop registration opened to all registered delegates from Tuesday, 29 December 2020 and was sent via email. Register early to avoid disappointment!

View a PDF of the full programme here

View a printable PDF programme here

Please note the times in the online programme below should display in your local time zone.

Farm Practice
Keynote

Speakers

Perrine Hervé-Gruyer

Chair

Robert Fraser

Languages

English

16:00 - 17:00 GMT
Monday, 11 January

The Importance of Design for a Small Scale Farm

To change the world you need to tell a story which will inspire change and that is exactly what Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer have done at La Ferme du Bec Hellouin. Described by Eliot Colman as the ‘United Nations of all the best sustainable farming ideas’, Perrine and Charles have drawn their inspiration and knowledge from so many different sources; they incorporate the modern techniques of bio-intensive ‘micro-agriculture’ into the broader context of permaculture, but also traditional learnings from the Parisian market gardeners and what they call their ‘barefoot mentors’.

In this session, Perrine will show how all of these learnings influenced the farm’s design, from the Mandala garden, the island garden, ponds, companion planting, bio-intensive planting, terraces, layering, the forest garden, raised beds, mulching, the use of perennial plants and an abundance of trees. She will show how Permaculture gives us the tools we need to design productive human systems that take their inspiration from nature and living ecosystems.

Perrine and Charles’ story is heartwarming and gives us all hope for the future. It is a shining example of how farms can be places of abundance, of healing, of beauty and of harmony and how human beings can be an essential and positive force for good. This is a session not to be missed!

Farm Practice
Workshop

Speakers

Organised by The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme, European Coordination Let’s Liberate Diversity, London Freedom Seed Bank & Lampeter Seed Library

Languages

English

16:00 - 17:30 GMT
Monday, 11 January

Bringing Communities Together Through Seed: A Discussion and Planning Session for Community Seed Banks, Seed Libraries and Seed Initiatives Around the UK

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

Community seed initiatives such as libraries, banks, and swaps are popping up all around the UK - and some have been leading the way for years. As the momentum grows, let's take an opportunity to come together and share experiences, pitfalls, and opportunities; find out what has worked (and not worked at all!) for other groups, and how we can ensure that our community seed is as diverse and resilient as it can be.

Joined by the London Freedom Seed Bank, Lampeter Seed Library, European Coordination Let’s Liberate Diversity and others, The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme looks forward to hearing from community initiatives across the UK on how it can best support them in the future. This is a space for communities who are in the process of setting up seed work to learn from groups who have paved the way, and an opportunity for groups to form connections and support each other.

Farm Practice
Workshop

Speakers

Andy Dibben

Andrew Webster

Dominic Amos

Chair

Kate Pressland

Languages

English

17:00 - 18:00 GMT
Monday, 11 January

Fighting Weeds and Pests with Plants: Learn about the Findings from Farmers and Researchers in the UK

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

What are the latest practices farmers are trialling to tackle weeds and pests using plants rather than agrochemicals? Join this practical session to hear from a panel of farmers, growers and researchers as they discuss the latest results and tips to come out of the Innovative Farmers’ network of farmer-led trials.

Can you tackle couch grass with allelopathic plants like buckwheat? What trap crops are best for deceiving potato pests in commercial farms? Can you beat weeds by finding varieties of wheat that are best suited to organic conditions? These questions (and more!) are being asked by farmers and researchers who are teaming up across the UK to pioneer nature friendly farming techniques that tackle pests and weeds without using agrochemicals. Through the Innovative Farmers programme a range of ecological practices are being put to the test on real farms where the trials are codesigned by the farmers. A process which ensures the outcome is realistic and easier to implement. Join this practical session to hear the latest results and analysis, get tips and find out more about the farmer-led research model.

Farm Practice
Keynote

Speakers

Javier Carrera

Languages

English, Español

18:00 - 19:00 GMT
Monday, 11 January

Rescuing Ancient Grains in Ecuador: The Efforts to Preserve Seed Diversity and the Cultural Heritage Around Our Most Important Food Plant

Regenerative food systems expert, Javier Carrera, shares with us the strategies of a long struggle to protect ancestral maize in Ecuador, along with the cultural practices related to this special plant. He will talk about what maize is in Ecuador and why it is so important and share lessons to transform organic maize systems worldwide.

Javier has been fascinated by maize for as long as he can remember, partly because it has so many different types and uses: canguil, mote, cau, choclo, morocho, tostado, chulpi, chicha, humita, chuchuca, tortilla, champús. And so many different colours, forms, sizes, textures and flavors. He says the genetics of maize are so similar to ours in many ways and there have been so many stories, cultural practices, folk songs, rituals, recipes written about maize.
“I totally understand when people say ‘we are people of maize. Our bodies and souls are made of it.”

But out of the 300+ maize varieties listed by national researchers in the 1960’s in Ecuador, Javier’s network of seed guardians, Social en la Red de Guardianes de Semillas, has only been able to find only around 50. The rest of them are gone. Probably forever. Who were they? What were their names, stories, flavors, colours?

Farm Practice
Panel Discussion
20:00 - 21:00 GMT
Monday, 11 January

Whole Health Agriculture: Alternative Health Approaches to Infectious Livestock Disease – An International Perspective

Around the world livestock farmers face challenges from infectious disease, parasites and various stress related issues. Meanwhile, globally, efficacy of antibiotics and other veterinary pharmaceuticals is breaking down, threatening human health as well as livestock and planetary health. While many agri-industry and research organisations are turning to, and trusting, genetic engineering and biotechnology for a solution, more ecologically and biologically sound alternatives are not getting the attention they deserve – in terms of both prevention and treatment of disease. Many effective holistic approaches can be found throughout the world but are rarely documented, evaluated and promoted. This session will present and discuss evidence, veterinary advice, farmer experience and offer practical nonconventional solutions to livestock health problems.

Farm Practice
Panel Discussion

Speakers

David Cross

John King

George Young

Chair

Kate Still

Languages

English

21:00 - 22:00 GMT
Monday, 11 January

Getting Used to Drought and Deluge: What New Pastures Can We Plant to Adapt?

An invitation to farmers to come and learn about forage crops and grazing practices that enable farming systems to be resilient to climate change as well as optimise livestock growth and positive health from forage.

We take a look at farmers’ experiences of resilient forage crops in the context of changing climatic conditions. This is a chance to hear directly from a farmer about an Innovative Farmers trial on extended grazing of lucerne by sheep (adapted NZ system), the benefits of herbal leys to provide green forage, and rotational grazing approaches to maximise forage production and livestock growth from forage.

Farm Practice
Workshop
12:00 - 13:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

From Margin to Mountain: Farmland Nature-based Climate Solutions at Every Scale

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 140 (Full)

Nature-based solutions to climate change are rising up the international agenda. Farmers across the globe have a central role to play in delivering multiple outcomes from our land – food, nature and climate. Natural habitats that increase biodiversity as well as helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change are vital.

This workshop gives a space for farmers around the world to discuss the potential for nature-based solutions at different scales on their farmland to tackle the dual crises of climate change and ecosystem collapse. Farmer case studies from a range of countries and farming systems will set the stage for deeper discussions on how farmers can embrace nature-based solutions like woodland, agroforestry, peatland and semi-natural grassland, and what support they need.

Come and join us to hear from farmers from Ireland to Finland, Sierra Leone to Essex and to tell your story as well.

Farm Practice
Panel Discussion
13:00 - 14:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

The Coping Strategies of Indonesian Farmers to the Risks of Climate Change and Other Hazards

This panel brings a number of farmers from Java, Indonesia, to share their real farming strategies in developing their adaptive capability towards the consequences of climate change and other hazards. The farmers are “real rainfall observers of their own fields” who have learned the agrometeorological method of analysis in the Science Field Shops in solving their vulnerabilities. Some coping strategies will be presented directly by farmers consisting of:

adaptation strategies to El Niňo by determining planting schedule and by changing cropping pattern;
adaptation strategies to La Niňa by avoiding planting rice and water melon, and by managing drainage in horticultural farming; and
mitigating gas emission and making soil healthy in rice farming.

Agrometeorological expert, Sue Walker, will provide a brief remark of farmers’ coping strategies.

Farm Practice
Workshop

Speakers

Abi Bunker

Kristin Bash

Joe Wookey

Clive Bailye

Chair

Jenny Hawley

Languages

English

13:00 - 14:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Fixing Nitrogen: The Nitrogen Challenge in the UK

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

Nitrogen is an element essential for all life on earth and vital in food and farming. But when used to excess, it becomes a dangerous pollutant to our air, rivers, soils and seas. In traditional farming systems, atmospheric nitrogen is naturally ‘fixed’ by plants such as peas and beans and returned to soils in animal manures. However, the creation of synthetic fertilisers has disrupted this cycle and become the single biggest driver of nitrogen pollution globally, pushing us beyond the boundaries the planet can withstand.

As more is understood about the impact of nitrogen pollution on our rivers, soil and plants, we also need to understand the impact it has on the climate crisis.

In this workshop, led by Plantlife’s Policy Manager Jenny Hawley, farmers, public health professionals and environmentalists discuss how to strike a nitrogen balance, closing loops and treating nutrients as too good to waste. The panel explores how solutions that work with nature address these challenges, and have the potential to improve profitability and farm resilience too.

The availability of active nitrogen is a key issue in the research project the Soil Association is currently undertaking with partners in the UK and France.