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April 10, 2024

Spring has officially arrived! Looking out of the window at the snow steadily falling here on the eastern edge of the Cairngorms one would never know! Hopefully this is the last hurrah of winter and better days are ahead.

We are sharing some important news including financial opportunities in this season’s newsletter, so I hope you find time to peruse. Our Ten Principles of Sustainable and Regenerative Agriculture might help to dispel some of the mysteries surrounding these terms and give some potential pointers for practice.

Finally, we are thrilled to welcome a new team member!!
Enjoy

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John Letts

John Letts, Continuous No-Input Cereal Cropping with Heritage Grains Beginning on his small farm in Oxfordshire, and now covering a total…

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Veganic Consumer Survey Report

This survey had two primary aims. The first was to help a veganic farmer in transition better understand the local and wider UK market demand for several veganic food products which he was considering producing. In doing so, this would help him decide which crops to grow and what processing equipment to purchase. The second aim was to get a sense of the demand for veganic food products from UK consumers which would be useful to existing and prospective veganic or stockfree organic (SO) farmers who could use the data in the same way as the above farmer.

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The Future of Farming

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.

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Thorncroft

Visiting the Orkney archipelago for the first time, it is striking how the landscape is almost completely dominated by livestock with some patches of cereal crops here and there. Yet, tucked in amongst all of this, on the island of Westray lies Thorncroft which immediately stands apart from (and to a certain extent, towers above) its surroundings on first sight.

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Newsletter Vol.1 No. 4

Scottish Agriculture Bill:

Call to action for our readers in Scotland
The subsidy system for Scottish agriculture has been in a state of limbo for the past few years and many farmers and crofters are anxious to see what direction it will go in, so that they can commit to making changes on their land that will align with the new agricultural policies. The Scottish Government will soon be deciding on a new Agriculture Bill that will shape the future of farming and crofting in Scotland,

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Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 3 Post

BEYOND THE POSSIBLE:
Expanding the Boundaries of Farming and Crofting
Stockfree Farming is hosting a free series of webinars by farmers for farmers on
radical, stockfree land management beginning NOVEMBER 1ST.

Our webinar series introduces farmers, crofters, foresters, and pioneers from Orkney to Oxfordshire who have broken through the obstacles of terrain, climate, poor soil, and short growing season to produce great food in harmony with the natural world.

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Survey Report

Stockfree Farming conducted a qualitative survey of Scottish farmers and crofters from 2021 – 2022.
The need to reduce the production and consumption of animal products has been widely accepted as a climate change mitigation measure. The missing piece up to now has been how the farmers themselves feel about this. Our survey fills this gap.

Some of our key findings are below:

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Tolhurst Organic

The importance of Tolhurst Organic in the world of stockfree farming is immense – a living example of a thriving farm business set in just under 20 acres in Oxfordshire, using absolutely no animal inputs and producing a vast array of vegetables and fruits for a local customer base.

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Eat Only British Plants for a Year

Farmers will always be the people who produce our food. This is important to remember. Over the past two years, Stockfree Farming has been assisting farmers who are interested in shifting out of livestock agriculture into fairer, greener livelihoods. In support of these farmers, and all the amazing growers and producers in the UK, we have taken up a challenge amongst ourselves to Eat (only) British Plants for a Year!

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Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 2

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!

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Newsletter Vol. 1 No. 1

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.

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Lobbying Document

Farmers For Stock-Free Farming is a Scottish-based, grassroots organisation established to inspire and support farmers and crofters in transitioning out of environmentally burdensome livestock agriculture into fairer, greener livelihoods that boost rural economies, mitigate climate change, improve food security, support biodiversity, and promote human health.

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From Beef and Dairy to Veganic Cereals

An interview with Laurence Candy of Northwood Farm

Death informs our relationship to life. Between 2017 and 2019, Laurence Candy of Northwood Farm in Dorset experienced numerous catastrophic events. It began by the loss of almost the entire dairy herd to bovine tuberculosis. Life-threatening family illnesses followed, and then the tragic loss of his brother-in-law.

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Leafu: what this novel food could mean for Scottish agriculture

One of the key issues with transitioning to stock-free agriculture in Scotland is that approximately 86% of the total land area is classified as Less Favoured Area (LFA), which means that growing human-edible crops is often severely disadvantaged if not completely impracticable (Scottish Government, 2019). While there are other alternatives like ecosystem restoration and farm enterprise diversification, it is quite understandable that many farmers and crofters are reluctant to give up food production entirely. 

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Balnamoon Croft

Funded in part by the Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods project, the croft is home to over 10,000 trees: elder, rowan, willow, hazel, ash, aspen, poplar, birch, holly, hawthorn, oak and Scot’s pine.

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