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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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Letter From The Farm | Between Hotbeds And The Hungary Gap

Meet Matthew Hayes, an organic-biodynamic-biointensive farmer originally from the UK, who has lived and farmed in Hungary for the last 25 years. He runs a market garden with his wife Kata in Zsámbok, a village in Pest county to the east of Budapest. In his first Letter From The Farm, Matthew writes about the struggle between light and darkness, the hung(a)ry gap, and lessons in patience. […]

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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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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. […]

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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. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Thriving In The Ford

We’re back on Chiara’s mushroom farm at the foot of the Italian Alps, where forest farm life goes on regardless of the lockdown. She is determined to get her on-farm processing facility up and running for this season. During the Covid-19 crisis she’s been even more socially isolated than usual, giving her time to muse on the deeper meanings of the “ford”: the site of her farm, but also a metaphor for agroforesty and agroecology. […]

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Letter From The Farm | A Conscientious Objector to the Meat Industry

Meet Josef, a Czech livestock farmer who is a conscientious objector to the meat industry. For ethical reasons he slaughters his animals on farm and sells the meat locally to friends and neighbours. On-farm slaughter is not legally possible for small farmers in the Czech Republic, where the only ways to kill a cow are via big processors, investing in your own on-farm facility – which is prohibitively expensive – or live exports. In order to speak freely about his activities, Josef (not his real name) chose to remain anonymous for this conversation with Louise Kelleher. […]

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Letter From The Farm | The Resilience and Privilege of a Rural Homestead

We’re back on Brindusa’s farm in Romania, where the Covid-19 crisis has halted her main sales. On the flip side she’s seeing a lot more interest in local food. She’s been doing a lot of thinking about food justice and the informal economy. The lockdown has made her take stock of her privilege. And so this year she’s determined to feed more people than ever. The only question is, how will she distribute this year’s bumper crop? […]