April 2019 at Wark Farm
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As in any other area of life, the language in common use in farming and food production changes and evolves over time. Partly this is driven by wider trends and exposure, partly by changes in the industry itself.
Outside conventional farming, sustainable and organic have probably been amongst the commonest words used to describe an approach to production that seeks to work with natural systems rather than simply extract from them. Organic has a legal definition as well as a nebulous cultural one; sustainable can be as broad or as narrow as you wish. One of my favourites is agroecology - which is perhaps not surprising given my life in farming and my training in ecology; to me it means the application of the science of ecology to the production of food, making it a discipline rather than an aspiration.
Possibly one of the most useful though that is coming steadily up the scale of usage is Regenerative Agriculture. It's not a discipline, nor a science, nor an audited label; it's an approach. As one description I read termed it - it's a â€œOne size fits none' model - each and every farm will have it's own version of regenerative agriculture bespoke to the land involved. At it's heart though is the understanding that regenerative agriculture builds the productive capacity of the land rather than depleting it. It's far from being a new idea; farming that looks to the health of the golden goose while in pursuit of the egg. I quote no authorities to back it up but I suspect quite a lot of agriculture that happened in the 7,000 years between the original slash and burn and the advent of the post-war chemical agriculture may have fitted the description. Perhaps not. Either way, as we are facing up to a land resource which according to some assessments may only have 100 crops left in it under mainstream farming, regenerative agriculture will hopefully continue to increase it's presence in our language, thinking and practice.
We are taking orders now for this months meat deliveries and collections. We have a full selection of Belted Galloway Beef and Hebridean Lamb available; an up to date form is available through the link below. We will be delivering orders to Deeside, Donside & Aberdeen on Friday 19th and will be open at the farm on Sunday 21st. In between we will be at Banchory Farmers market on the 20th, from 9:00 until 1:00.