National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

30 July 2014

One South East Area member got the chance to learn more about sustainable farming in both an organic and conventional farming situation in July.

Lynsey Martin, Kent FYFC County Chairman, attended The Prince of Wales’s Food and Farming Summer School, which was hosted by the Organic Research Centre at Elm Farm in Newbury, and enjoyed a packed and informative few days.

The Prince of Wales’s Food and Farming Summer School has been held since 2007 and is inspired by The Prince of Wales’s leadership and keen interest over many years in environmental sustainability and the importance of supporting the wider farming community.

The three days included talks on sustainable farming, the impact of intensification on the environment and how to achieve sustainable intensification.

Lynsey said:  ”I found the session on food security and sustainable intensification one of the most interesting. We talked about intensification costs, not just in terms of the environment but also health and the other effects of providing low cost foods.”

Farm visits

Lynsey also visited farms to see sustainable farming in action. Among them was a visit to Leckford Estate, otherwise known as the Waitrose Farm, to see the dairy enterprise and the rotary parlour as well as to learn more about how mushrooms are grown commercially.  

Visiting a traditional agricultural enterprise also impressed Lynsey. At Helen Browning’s Organic at Eastbrook Farm there was a chance to see how pigs were being used to add nutrients and improve the soil.

Lynsey also went to the Home Farm on the Duchy Estate where she viewed the forestry and the agroforestry sections, which included rows of fruit trees and vegetable beds. Plans were being made for sheep to graze on the areas of grass around the trees and between the vegetable beds. 

“I would be very interested to follow this up in the future to see how it worked. I would strongly recommend to anyone who gets the opportunity to go to The Prince of Wales’s Food and Farming Summer School to go for it. Coming from a conventional farming background, it was a great chance for me to expand my horizons and see some organic systems.”

Lynsey’s place was sponsored by The Meadowbrook Trust and organised through NFYFC. For further information about future opportunities, please contact AGRI Officer Jo Wyles.


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