Sunday, 19 April 2009

My visit to Suffolk yesterday to look at food issues

I paid another visit to Suffolk last yesterday, to learn more about the production and distribution of food, which is still a major part of the local economy. We began with a tour of the Alder Carr farmers' market, near Needham, talking to many of the customers and local stallholders, all of whom must grow or produce within a 45-mile radius.

 

I also heard from Nick Hardingham (who manages Alder Carr Farm with his wife Joan) about the various small businesses that have grown from the original pick-your-own soft fruit enterprise. Eight separate activities take place at Alder Carr, most dependent upon one or two others, as for example Alder Carr ice cream which uses farm-grown fruit, while fertility is enhanced by manure from the livestock, the restaurant uses farm ingredients, and of course the farm shop sells a widening range of produce plus jams and baking from the farm kitchen.

 

I also visited the farm shop in Bramford run by Councillor Stephen Wright, a political colleague of Green Party Councillors on Mid Suffolk DC. After hearing about Stephen's specialist hop-growing business, Green Councillor John Matthissen and I discussed with Stephen the successful cooperation between Suffolk Together and the Green Party, now entering its third year.

 

I now understand that the Suffolk Together party chose its name for a very sound reason, in that they are firmly committed to working with other parties and the local people to best represent their area. We look forward to further local cooperation, and I hope to carry their approach to the European Parliament as an MEP upholding Suffolk's local interests.

 

The third visit of the day was to Home Farm, Nacton, a large scale vegetable and livestock producer with hundreds of acres under cultivation both organic and conventional. Of particular interest was the rotation of pigs with potatoes, vegetables and cereals. This provided minimal crop disease problems while maximizing fertility. Another striking example of the ways in which organic techniques are informing all agricultural methods was the specialised use of harrowing between vegetables which had allowed the elimination of chemicals from some conventional as well as organic growing. The low rainfall of the region and changing patterns of rainfall are being alleviated with water storage and overnight trickle irrigation.

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1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: My visit to Suffolk yesterday to look at food issues 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. My visit to Suffolk yesterday to look at food issues 27. 28.

29.
I paid another visit to Suffolk last yesterday, to learn more about the production and distribution of food, which is still a major part of the local economy. We began with a tour of the Alder Carr farmers' market, near Needham, talking to many of the customers and local stallholders, all of whom must grow or produce within a 45-mile radius.

 

I also heard from Nick Hardingham (who manages Alder Carr Farm with his wife Joan) about the various small businesses that have grown from the original pick-your-own soft fruit enterprise. Eight separate activities take place at Alder Carr, most dependent upon one or two others, as for example Alder Carr ice cream which uses farm-grown fruit, while fertility is enhanced by manure from the livestock, the restaurant uses farm ingredients, and of course the farm shop sells a widening range of produce plus jams and baking from the farm kitchen.

 

I also visited the farm shop in Bramford run by Councillor Stephen Wright, a political colleague of Green Party Councillors on Mid Suffolk DC. After hearing about Stephen's specialist hop-growing business, Green Councillor John Matthissen and I discussed with Stephen the successful cooperation between Suffolk Together and the Green Party, now entering its third year.

 

I now understand that the Suffolk Together party chose its name for a very sound reason, in that they are firmly committed to working with other parties and the local people to best represent their area. We look forward to further local cooperation, and I hope to carry their approach to the European Parliament as an MEP upholding Suffolk's local interests.

 

The third visit of the day was to Home Farm, Nacton, a large scale vegetable and livestock producer with hundreds of acres under cultivation both organic and conventional. Of particular interest was the rotation of pigs with potatoes, vegetables and cereals. This provided minimal crop disease problems while maximizing fertility. Another striking example of the ways in which organic techniques are informing all agricultural methods was the specialised use of harrowing between vegetables which had allowed the elimination of chemicals from some conventional as well as organic growing. The low rainfall of the region and changing patterns of rainfall are being alleviated with water storage and overnight trickle irrigation.

30. 31. 32.