Common sense farming
Hosted by Graham Bell and Charlie Wannop.
This session included a forty minute presentation on some different perspectives about what we need to achieve farming which is sustainable for people (producers processors and consumers), land, wildlife, economics and society’s connection with the environment. We looked at some facts, where we would like to see change, what the benefits of those changes are and what are the challenges. After the presentation there was a conversation with participants about the suggestions made, other options and thoughts for action.
Graham Bell MA FCIM FRSA DipPerm Inst, is the author of The Permaculture Way and the Permaculture Garden and lives in Coldstream in the Scottish Borders. He is Chairman of Permaculture Scotland, and of the UK wide Education Working Group which has just made working with young people its number one priority. Along with his partner Nancy he has cultivated and nurtured a forest garden, which is the longest established of it’s kind in Scotland. The forest garden is a ScotLAND demonstration site for permaculture students and specialists alike. Graham now works largely in regeneration and community development at a strategic level but has many years experience in teaching and guiding students on the permaculture learning path. He is in constant contact with senior politicians and the media and so is also in a position to influence Government policy. He is currently consulting on various farm scale projects in the North with an emphasis on environmental and social improvement. Graham is an internationally respected teacher, author and lecturer in Permaculture and other allied disciplines. The lead instructor on the Countryside Premium Scheme (for farmers) for Scotland in the nineties, he has taught on five continents. His home in the Scottish Borders boasts the longest standing intentional food forest garden in Britain. Over a thousand visitors a year (in previous times) attest to the amazing productivity of this space. His main career he shares “is as a storyteller”. We learn and teach understanding for all the creatures in the living environment, how they interact and how we can make them available sustainable for all with the least amount of work. We never cease believing a better future is possible and we keep sharing the skills to make it happen. This is only possible because we respect the prior knowledge of everyone who joins us in this progression.
Charlie Wannop is an extension worker on organic farming and rural development and an adviser on Organic farming and management. He has worked extensively overseas and is a trainer in business management and strategy, organic production rural enterprise, development. Previously he was Head of Outreach for the Organic Farming Centre based at Edinburgh University, and the Scottish Agricultural College. He has lectured at several colleges both in UK and overseas.