Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | Welcome To The Herdade

Welcome to Herdade do Freixo do Meio, a 600-hectare community farm in Alentejo, Portugal. Run by a cooperative, the farm prides itself on agroecological food production that is local, responsible and conscious. Alfredo Sendim explains how the farm is building resilience through a collective approach. […]

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UK | Waking Up To The Power Of Mushrooms

Interest is mushrooming in the power of fungi to feed and heal people and the planet. On one urban farm in Bristol, England, mushrooms upcycled from wood chip are building topsoil as well as feeding the local eaters. Meanwhile another nearby mushroom growing initiative is giving wealthy landowners an incentive to preserve their woodland. Ursula Billington reports. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Half The Price Of Your Food Is Paid By The EU

We hear again from Czech livestock farmer Josef who is disillusioned with the sector’s refusal to move with the times. He’s found he can do more ecological farming without the red tape of organic certification and senseless inspections. And although income supports were a huge help to him as a new entrant, he would be happy to see direct payments cut for established farmers. […]

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France | Lessons from Agricultural Archeology

Since he first set foot in Vachères-en-Quint in La Drôme, France, almost half a century ago, Sjoerd Wartena has followed in the footsteps of the older generation, who taught him how to farm and raise animals in these austere uplands. Still fascinated by the ways of our predecessors, he has taken to tracing the remnants of farming practices indigenous to the area. Here he reflects on what we can learn from past generations and their ability to adapt to harsh conditions. […]

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France | Letter To The Next Generation

Sjoerd Wartena first went “back to nature” almost half a century ago. In this letter to the younger generation he reflects on our relationship with nature and the land, the importance of modelling change, and the role of humility and compassion in giving humanity a second chance. […]

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Czech Republic | Wrangling with the Next Generation

Meet Czech farmer Terezie Daňková, who raises cattle and sheep on a 450 ha. ranch on mostly rented land in Southern Bohemia, with the help of her cowgirl daughter Barbora (20), her son Vojtěch (13), and a stable of horses. Louise Kelleher speaks to two generations of women farmers about the realities of rural life, the pull of the city, and what brings them back to the farm. […]

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Catcher in the Rye: Breeding Diversity for Unpredictable Conditions

The new EU organic regulation, to be implemented in 2022, promises new opportunities especially for young farmers to regain control and knowledge of local conservation, breeding, sustainable use and marketing of seeds fit for organic production. As part of the team that negotiated the new EU organic regulation, ARC2020 President Hannes Lorenzen is curious about how the new less restrictive conditions for organic seed production and marketing will impact breeders and farmers. He spoke to an organic plant breeder and a young farmer about their ideas on the future of seeds. […]

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Italy – Digitalisation, Diverse Farms and Rural Resilience

Digital tools that suit the complexity of diversified farms and meet their specific needs, can bring new challenges but, once these are overcome, they can contribute to farm resilience and viability. Meet two Italian farm enterprises and see how their stories and narratives show that digitalisation means not only access to connectivity, but also capacity to use, manage and control technologies. […]

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Letter From the Farm – of Seeds and not Reseeding

Madeline McKeever has been farming in west Cork, on the edge of the Atlantic, since 1999. First in dairy and cheese making, then beef, and now mostly selling organic vegetable seeds. Madeline has seen a lot – like the return of mushrooms, white clover, and dozens of plants in her unploughed sward. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | Welcome to Western Macedonia

Meet Nikos Tsioumplekas, a budding farmer who is reviving the family farm in Western Macedonia in the North of Greece. So far he has restored his great-grandfather’s orchards and planted a vegetable garden. Inspired by Greek tradition and best practices from all over the world, Nikos is determined to realise his farming vision. […]