Farming has been a part of my life since I was a child. I grew up on a mixed vegetable and dairy farm on the outskirts of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. For my family, animal welfare was very much wrapped up in religion, as cows are sacred in Hinduism and are not slaughtered for meat. Farming was never an industry or business; it was our way of life and necessary for subsistence. As a child, I always had a particular love for cattle.
Watch Video – Rebecca Knowles, the director of the Stockfree Farming charity, speaks to the Civil Service Vegan Network about the benefits and complexities of transitioning out of livestock farming into alternative forms of land management.
A Game Changer for Future Agriculture – Watch Dr. Johannes Eisenbach’s excellent talk on the creation and benefits of humus soil.
Watch the Podcast – Regenerative Scotland with Ariane Burgess, MSP in conversation with Rebecca Knowles of Stockfree Farming and Pete Ritchie, Nourish Scotland, talking about how changes in farming practices in Scotland will help us to tackle the climate emergency and restore Scotland’s degraded biodiversity.
Happy New Year to all our members! We hope you enjoyed a lovely break over the festive season and wish you all the very best in the year ahead.
Stock-Free Advisory Team
Over the past year, we have received an increasing number of enquiries from farmers and crofters interested in adopting stock-free farming methods. Our soon-to-be-published Farmers’ Survey has revealed a surprising openness and willingness on the part of farmers and crofters to shift out of livestock farming into fairer, greener livelihoods. Also of note has been the number of requests for support and guidance in making these changes. To that end, we have put together our Stock-Free Advisory Team!
Welcome to our first newsletter and a big thank you to everyone who has signed up so far! If you’re receiving this and aren’t yet a member, you can sign up by clicking the join button on our website.
FFSFF at COP26!!
We’ve been lucky enough to secure an indoor stall from the 2nd to the 12th of November as part of COP26. Our stall will be located in Glasgow’s Mitchell library where we’ll be from 10am to 4pm each day spreading the word about stock-free organic/veganic agriculture. If you are in the Glasgow area, please come by and say ‘hello’! Rebecca will also be giving a talk for the Animal Politics Foundation at Sloans Ballroom on the 7th of November at 7:15pm.
Gina Bates, Highland Veganics Bordering on the banks of the beautiful Oykel River, in the heart of Sutherland’s sheep country, Gina Bates is creating the first plant-protein croft in the Scottish Highlands! At the start of February, 2020, Gina and a crew of volunteers began planting an orchard of 312 hazelnut trees on her 80 …
The Artisan Grower Michelle and Robert Sullivan and family had no experience in growing when they decided to rent one acre of farmland near Insch, Aberdeenshire. In fact, Robert, a former business director in telecommunications, confesses that he had an “extreme dislike of mud”! However, a desire to be sustainable and live the agrarian lifestyle …
For roughly 25 years now, Joost van Strien has run his 90-hectare vegetable farm, Zonnegoed, organically and just last year he took it a step further, obtaining the Biocyclic Vegan Standard. Farming by this standard means that Joost manages Zonnegoed without any animal-based inputs (e.g. manure and slaughterhouse waste products), nor with any synthetic fertilisers or agrichemicals.
Upon moving to Romania in 2004, Christian Hani and his family established Bio-Farmland, an 800-hectare family farm that specialises in growing several different cereal varieties. At the start of 2021, Bio-Farmland became certified with the Biocyclic Vegan Standard, making them one of only a few cereal farms in the world right now to be run using stock-free/veganic methods.