Organic Farm School helps you "Grow your Own"

It's funny how most Brits say that self-sufficiency would help us out in this recent financial crisis and yet half of us admit to lacking the skills our grandparents had in abundance.

According to research commissioned by the Soil Association and conducted by Pollab a massive 92% of Brits polled said that self-sufficiency, being able to "grow your own" and having your own livestock would certainly have been beneficial during this latest recession. The notion has been echoed by recent activity from DEFRA, the Government Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in their Food 2030 initiative and a lot of interest from the general public in allotment space.

Yet despite the huge majority of people wishing to be self-sufficient the poll also found that:

  • 45% of people admitted to lacking in cooking skills
  • 47% of those polled say they were less able to grow their own food
  • 48% of Brits believe they have lost the rural craft skills to allow them to be self-sufficient and
  • 51% said they had no idea how to rear livestock

So, although the will is strong, the skills are weak. But fear not for the Soil Association have picked up on Brits' lack of confidence and are launching 300 Organic Farm School courses over the next 2 years with help from the Daylesford Foundation. The new Organic Farm School courses cover a range of skills from growing vegetables to bee-keeping and keeping chickens to making bread and cider. Te full list of organic farm courses inlcudes:

  • wild food foraging
  • hedge laying
  • cider making
  • bee keeping
  • cheese making
  • preserving
  • butchery and game preparation
  • seasonal cookery demonstrations
  • willow weaving
  • dry stone walling

Patrick Holden, Director of the Soil Association, commented:

The Organic Farm School is about relearning skills which are vital to becoming more self-sufficient. In the recession this will not only be cheaper but it’s healthier for you and the environment too. I think one of life's greatest pleasures is eating food that you’ve produced yourself.

My vision for the Organic Farm School is that it enables and inspires a whole generation of young people to acquire these vitally important skills from the very best practitioners – the farmers and growers themselves.

The Soil Association is aiming to strike a chord with over 3000 people with their Organic Farm Schools initiative, the intention being to pass on practical skills from farmers, growers and producers to reinstate modern urban people with the skills of their forebears.

Monty Don, President of the Soil Association, concluded:

The Soil Association’s Organic Farm School is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to come and learn skills from the experts. Each course is an enjoyable day out on an organic farm and a chance to experience the rich satisfaction of country life.

So, if you think you need to brush up on your bread, cider & cheese-making skills, then take a look at the Organic Farm School courses to see which ones appeal to you.