Our local work: Crickhowell
In Crickhowell we are supporting the creation of a new state-of-the-art farm producing food for local people, and helping local food producers to sell on-line.
The new Langtons Farm
“Our Food” is supporting a new state-of-the-art small farm in Crickhowell, that sets out to demonstrate how to:
- be viable without any subsidies, earning a decent wage for reasonable working hours for all who work on it
- fix carbon in the soil
- restore biodiversity – soil and wildlife
- produce food that local people need and want at affordable prices
- create absorbent soil that reduces flooding
- be a model of farming that is accessible even to those who don’t own land or wealth
Elsewhere in the world, farming entrepreneurs – such as at Ridgedale Farm in Sweden, Neversink Farm in USA, La Ferme de la Grelinette in Canada, La Ferme du Bec-Hellouin in France – have sought to demonstrate how farming can be sustainable and profitable.
The key to the approach is a near obsessive attention to productivity – a vast number of small improvements in efficiency in labour, ergonomic design, low-maintenance growing techniques, low cost routes to market, and so on.
One of the world leaders in this field is Jean-Martin Fortier of La Ferme de la Grelinette in Canada. Here is a video in which he describes his revolutionary vision:
The farmers bringing this state-of-the-art practice to Wales to test its application in a Welsh climate are David Langton and Katherine Robinson, both in their 20s. They started with no land and insignificant capital. After a long period of research and meticulous business planning, they have rented land from a local organic farmer. Our Food is lending them a large polytunnel and has provided them with start-up finance for equipment, having assisted them to find the land.
(David and Katherine actually started their farming before they had any land at all – in a bedroom. During the last year they created a microgreens business, supplying 30 leading restaurants in the area. This business will resume when the catering trade starts again. See our-food.org/crickhowell/business/langtons-farm-microgreens).
“Our Food” has initiated an alliance of local food producers (www.Our-Food.org/Crickhowell) and they are now working to promote on-line sales ready for July. The promotion will be launched with a vigorous local marketing campaign funded by the businesses. This will help Langtons Farm and all other local producers to reach the local market efficiently during this summer. Local farms and growers are known to be growing extra food for local consumption in response to the current crisis. We will review with producers how best to support sales in a post-Covid environment when the time comes.
Header photo: Tim Jones.