Main stories

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 | 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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German Environment Ministry Proposals For CAP Green Architecture

Recommendations published by the German Ministry for the Environment echo fears that the CAP reform might not align with the environmental ambitions of the European Green Deal, and urge that regardless of the outcomes of the negotiations, Germany should use its Strategic Plan to gear the implementation of EU agriculture policy towards environmental needs. Hans Wetzels reports.  […]

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Germany | Traditional Wine-Making Feeling The Heat of Climate Change

Although known for its beer, Germany has a long history of viticulture dating back to the Roman era. Wine markets have always been shaped by changing climate conditions such as the little ice age. The new climate reality is forcing many wine regions in Germany and across Europe to make large-scale adaptations to keep the winemaking tradition alive. Kyle Morrison 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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Ireland | Wake Up and Smell the Ammonia

In Ireland, dangerous levels of ammonia emissions are driven largely by the burgeoning cattle population. Yet policymakers are turning a blind eye to the link between ammonia pollution and the expanding national herd. The evidence shows that Ireland is pursuing growth in the agri-food sector at the expense of air quality, biodiversity and human health, reports Alison Brogan. […]

Main stories

UK | Why “Buy British” Won’t Feed the Nation – Part 2

In post-Brexit Britain, the new Agriculture Bill is exposing the fault lines between environmental conservation, neoliberal trade deals, and the future of small-scale farming. In part two of this series, Anoushka Zoob Carter explores the phenomenon of technological nationalism in post-CAP politics, and the conflicts it is generating between advocates of rural renewal and of an emancipatory rural politics. […]

algal bloom in the central Baltic Sea
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Poland | Drowning in Algae: Dead Zones in the Baltic Sea

Marine life in the Baltic Sea is drowning in algae. Largely to blame is nutrient run-off from intensive pig producers, thanks to a model of factory farming largely unchecked by EU regulations. Experts are calling for closed nutrient cycles to combat eutrophication – and engaging with the polluters to find solutions. Hans Wetzels reports from Poland. […]