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Inspiring eco-farmersPrint

From driving bio-fuel tractors to growing only seasonal crops, these eco-aware farmers are embracing green practices.

Three farmers reveal a more sustainable way to farm

Laverstoke Park Farm

Jody Scheckter's Laverstoke Park, is a 2,500 acre organic and biodynamic farm in Hampshire.

The farm focuses on producing organic meat including water buffalo and wild boar. It farms seasonal vegetables and boasts a comprehensive chemistry laboratory for soil and food analysis.

Laverstoke Park aims to run completely on self-sustainable energy. As part of that plan, it employed one of the UK's first bio-fuel tractors (which runs on rapeseed oil) in its service.

Coleshill Organics

Coleshill's organic box scheme and farm shop started in 1995. Since then, it's mushroomed from a two-acre dip-your-toe-in business to a 30-odd acre organic enterprise. In 2004 it was honoured as Box Scheme of the Year and Horticultural Producer of the Year.

To help keep its carbon footprint to a minimum Coleshill limits transport emissions by not delivering further than 25 miles. Strictly seasonal produce is picked on the morning of delivery to eliminate the need for refrigeration - further reducing the farm's environmental impact.

Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard

Set up in 1979, it was England's first organic winery, Sedlescombe has been a trail-blazer in the UK for both organic winemaking and organic farming. "I make wines in the traditional way," says owner and winemaker Roy Cook. "All the fruit is hand-picked, which means only the best bunches are selected and no mechanical pumps are used."

Sedlescombe has kept its carbon emissions at a minimum through a strong local focus, which minimises the need for transportation.

The winery is also standardising its bottles and uses peelable labels so bottles are easily reusable. The process requires significantly less energy "than smashing the bottles up to make new ones," according to Cook.


[1] Laverstoke Park Farm

[2] Coleshill Organics

[3] Sedlescombe Organic 

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