Nearly 20 years of organic growing makes our farmer, Jonnie Watson, a bit of an expert. Since deciding to convert the farm over to organic he has welcomed the return of a myriad of bird, insect and mammal species throughout the 300-acre patch of North Yorkshire countryside. Finding ways to work in harmony with our environment whilst still being a productive farm has brought many challenges over the years and 2018 will definitely be one to remember for the obstacles it brought up. A long cold winter, late wet spring followed by one of the worst droughts in our history have meant the farm this September is a shadow of its usual self. Even so, we believed it was important to celebrate Organic September and let people see first hand the effects these extreme weather conditions have had for growers up and down the nation.
It was a fairly breezy start to the day and the gazebo wasn't convinced it wanted to remain in attendance. It actually inspired us to find yet another use for the versatile potato in providing ballast to keep it grounded. The old tractors took pride of place in the yard and we were lucky to have borrowed a display hive so that Fanny's bees could be seen in all their glory. Jonnie was exhausted running several tours through the polytunnels and fields - regaling tales of the challenges this year has brought and some of the funnier moments from year's gone by. The soup from our friends at Yorkshire Provender was a delicious mix of some of the finest UK vegetables and the bread rolls from Leeds Bread Company made a perfect accompaniment. All told we raised over £100 for Martin House Children's Hospice and thank all in attendance for their generosity.
We were thrilled that so many people came to join us for the day. It is gratifying to see the growing levels of interest in organic growing methods and people engaging with where their food comes from. We desperately want people to feel connected to their food, and the Natural World. So much time, energy and passion goes into every plant - not just here but in farms all over the World. We just hope we can transfer a little of that passion onto the public so more will embrace natural growing methods and maybe be inspired to grow their own!