REGENERATIVE
AGRICULTURE

Why regenerative agriculture?

 

Humanity is facing unprecedented challenges, many of which are linked to food security and farming. From carbon emissions and biodiversity losses to soil degradation, pollution and water use, the situation is at crisis point.

  • The prevailing trend in agriculture is towards intensification, driven by a precipitous fall in the number of farmers, increased land and machinery costs and continued pressure on food prices by supermarkets and consumers.

  • Around one third of UK soils are classified as ‘degraded’ with around 0.6 per cent of existing soil carbon lost each year, making it a significant contributor to climate change.

  • In 2015 the Committee on Climate Change reported that the UK had lost 84 per cent of fertile topsoil since 1850, and a further 1-3 cm of topsoil is lost each year.

  • This in turn has led to pollution of rivers and seas and staggering nutrient loss in crops. The fruit and vegetables we eat today have only 10-20% of the nutrient value our grandparents would have gained for the same food.

  • In 2016, the State of Nature report found that the UK has lost significantly more biodiversity than the rest of the world. We are ranked in the bottom 30 of 218 countries, meaning we one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.

The solution

The principles of regenerative agriculture aim to reverse these trends by managing the land without dependence on pesticides or artificial fertilisers, while using stock management techniques such as ‘mob grazing’ to encourage development of diverse and resilient grasslands.

 

These grasslands not only provide greater wildlife habitats, but also nurture soils and root growth to provide greater carbon capture. Cows and sheep are fed exclusively on grass and pigs and chickens are raised outdoors on pasture and woodland.

TRADITIONAL MIXED FARMING

Less than 100 years ago, all rural communities would have had local mixed farms where they could source vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs and secondary products such as bread, pies and cakes.

 

Our vision is to recreate this style of farming with a broad range of livestock alongside vegetable growing and traditional home-cooked goods. This enterprise stacking allows risk to be spread across the business, while also providing sufficient income to support multiple partners.

 

The farm will be managed organically, without chemical fertilizers or sprays and using holistic management practices to reduce pest and disease build up.

At commencement the farm will not be certified organic due to the difficulties in accessing Organic abattoirs and suitable organic feeds on the Isle of Wight.​

HUMAN SCALE FARMING

Conventional agriculture relies heavily on machinery, which has financial and carbon implications, both upfront and ongoing. The physical removal of people from the land and into machinery has removed our human connection with the environment.

 

We want to model human-scale, tractor-free free farming, which can be run using little machinery, with land and stock management carried out using year-round grazing, mobile infrastructure and quad-bike based transportation. In addition to the small range of equipment, we will also use local contractors for any larger scale projects such as barn clearing, hay making, mainland haulage and hedge cutting.

 

This model makes farming more financially viable and allows farms to be smaller as there is no need to cover large overheads created by finance for machinery.

Direct Sales

Existing food systems disenfranchise communities and people from the production of their food. This not only removes accountability of the food producer but also leads to a fundamental disconnect in understanding of where food comes from. However over the past few years consumer understanding and appetite for local, responsible, traceable food has started to grow, especially within the meat industry.

Our vision is to connect directly with consumers through direct sales at farmers’ markets, crowd funding projects, box delivery schemes and direct interaction with the farm via social media, farm visits and volunteer days.