Good Food For Everyone Forever

with Colin Tudge and friends

“Why we need to re-think everything we do from first principles, and re-think everything in the light of everything else thus achieving a truly holistic approach to food”

Writer and activist, co-founder of the Oxford Real Farming Conference, Colin Tudge, defines enlightened agriculture as:

“Farming that is expressly designed to provide food of the highest standard for everyone, everywhere, forever, without cruelty of injustice and without wrecking the rest of the world”.

Such a vision may seem merely fanciful – so distant is it from the status quo — and yet should be perfectly achievable. Technically, it should be almost easy to ensure there is no more famine. Far more than that: our descendants should be able to occupy this planet for literally millions of years to come, each one more personally fulfilled than most people are now, and in harmony with each other and with other creatures. This should be considered a realistic aspiration.

On the first evening, after introductions, Colin will introduce the concept of Enlightened Agriculture and why we need an Agricultural Renaissance.

Day Two: Colin will set out the agenda for the rest of human life on the planet and why a holistic approach is essential. Ian Rappel will discuss the state of our wildlife and what can be done to arrest the catastrophic decline in the insects and other animals we need to survive.

The afternoon and evening will be taken up with issus of real farming, real food and real cooking. Why taste is the key to the necessary revolution, and how we need to re-learn how to cook.

Day Three: Ian Rappel will open with a discussion of the status quo, where he believes power lies and how change can be effected.

Colin Tudge will then elaborate his manifesto ‘Six Steps Back to the Land”, a programme for taking farming back to the future.

The afternoon will feature a tour of a pioneering local farm in the Black Mountains, Pen y Wyrlod, a 50 acre, south-facing traditional sheep farm outside Abergavenny, set below the lower slopes of the Skirrid Mountain. Pen y Wyrlod has remained largely unchanged since it was created around 1540, with small fields and ancient hedgerows. No fertilisers have been used for 20 years, and now Nick Miller and Sarah Dickens will show how they use a pasture slitter to increase aeration, micro-nutrient uptake and build earthworm populations. The effects have been dramatic, with improved grass growth, more clover and greater resilience to drought.

The evening will feature poety by Adam Horovitz composed on Pen y Wyrlod in 2016.

Day Four: Before departing after lunch, Colin and Ian will lead a discussion about next steps and consider some of the innovative approaches that are starting to take off in Wales and more further afield.

DATES: 20th, 21st & 22nd August 2019
ARRIVE: 5pm August 19
DEPART: 3pm August 22
RESIDENTIAL PRICE: £600
NON-RESIDENTIAL PRICE: £300
VENUE: Coleg Trefeca …more info

To Book you will be redirected to the Hay Festival website

Colin Tudge

Colin Tudge

Colin Tudge is a biologist by education and a writer by trade. He worked for Farmers Weekly, New Scientist, and BBC Radio 3 before going freelance in 1990, and is author of about 15 books on natural history, evolution, genetics, ecology – and, in particular, on nutrition, cooking, and agriculture. Around 2008, together with his wife Ruth (West) and friends, he began the Campaign for Real Farming — which has given rise to the Oxford Real Farming Conference and the College for Real Farming and Food Culture. The aim is to help bring about a global, cross-the-board Renaissance – beginning with food and farming.

Ian Rappel

Ian Rappel

Ian Rappel is a radical ecologist with three decades’ experience in biodiversity conservation. He is currently Chief Executive for Gwent Wildlife Trust where he has played a leading role in the campaign to save the wonderful Gwent Levels from the proposed M4 relief motorway. In addition to his campaigning work, Ian has a strong background in nature reserve management in urban and rural settings. He has also undertaken wide ranging research in the political ecology of biodiversity loss, and has written articles on the policies of the World Bank, and the impact of neoliberalism on conservation strategies. Ian has concluded, after many years in the field, that Enlightened Agriculture holds the promise for a meaningful resolution to the unfolding biodiversity crisis and a positive Anthropocene.

Adam Horovitz

Adam Horovitz

Adam Horovitz is Stroud-based poet and performer. His first full collection, Turning, was released in 2011 and he has celebrated Stroud and the surrounding valleys in A Thousand Laurie Lees (History Press, 2014) and Little Metropolis (a CD of poetry and music commissioned by the Stroud Fringe Festival in 2015). He has travelled across Europe to poetry festivals as one of Ledbury Poetry Festival’s Versopolis poets since 2015 and is currently the Pasture-fed Livestock Association’s poet in residence. His second full collection of poems, The Soil Never Sleeps, written during this residency, was released by Palewell Press in January 2018.

Nick Miller & Sarah Dickins

Nick Miller & Sarah Dickins

Nick Miller and Sarah Dickins have been producing lamb for almost 20 years at their small farm outside Abergavenny. They aim to farm as sustainably as possible, concentrating on healthy soils and minimum intervention with their stock. Their flock of Black Welsh Mountain sheep is organic and pasture-fed accredited and sold as hogget rather than lamb. Although they like to sell locally, much of their produce sells to high profile chefs across the UK.

Pen y Wyrlod Farm is a 50 acre, south facing traditional sheep farm situated below the lower slopes of the Skirrid Mountain. It has remained largely unchanged since it was created around 1540, with small fields and ancient hedgerows. The soil is sandy loam, but thin in places and can get very wet in the winter. The sward is traditional mixed pasture with lots of grass varieties, but slow growth. No fertilisers have been used for 20 years, and now Nick and Sarah use a pasture slitter to increase aeration, micro-nutrient uptake and build earthworm populations. The effects have been dramatic, with improved grass growth, more clover and greater resilience to drought.

Good Food For Everyone Forever

with Colin Tudge and friends

ARRIVE 5pm August 19
DEPART 3pm August 22