John Letts, Continuous No-Input Cereal Cropping with Heritage Grains

Beginning on his small farm in Oxfordshire, and now covering a total area of 1500 acres and still expanding, John Letts has achieved something that even organic experts have labelled ‘impossible’: growing cereals continuously in a stockless, organic system in the same field. In fact, John was denied organic certification by the Soil Association for the simple reason that he does not rotate. 

When I first read about John’s work in The Land magazine, I was astonished and intrigued.  How the tall and genetically diverse mixes of heritage grains that he uses prefer low nitrogen levels (otherwise they lodge), and how the diversity provides resistance to disease.

Undersowing with short white clover, and leaving all residues on the ground, provides all the fertility and organic matter that his soil needs.  

If this wasn’t revolutionary enough, John operates a no-till system: no ploughing and no inter-row tillage.

His grains are currently going to artisan-style baking, brewing, and distilling. 

Intrigued?  Watch John’s presentation that was part of our webinar series last November to learn more and see if this might be an option for you. 

Blessed with multiple talents, Gina is also building a glamping pod so she can offer guest accommodation to help boost the croft’s income.

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