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Mixed Farming - Histories and Futures

Mixed farming – growing crops as well as raising livestock – was much more common in the Dyfi Biosphere, and in Wales in general, in the past. Our aim is to build on the past, but look to the future, and help make the case for more widespread sustainable mixed agriculture and more resilient local food production economies. Central to our project's vision is the recognition that small, family farms are the cornerstone of Wales’ past, current and future rural economy, culture and landscape.

This LEADER and Ashley Family Foundation funded pilot project (Apr 2019 to Oct 2020) aims to map some of these changes, to illustrate what is possible and to stimulate some discussion. The principal way we are doing this is by integrating a variety of related online resources into an Information Gateway – a map-based portal that illustrates how agriculture has evolved in the Dyfi Biosphere area over the last 150 years or so. We are also exploring options for showing how modern technology can be used to indicate possibilities such as:
- fields suitable for the reinstatement of historical farming activities
- areas of carbon storage
- crops that will grow in the future under different climate change scenarios

In keeping with the emphasis on farmers knowledge; local solutions, local economies, and short supply chains to local markets, the project has been collecting oral histories from older generation farmers in the area who remember when agriculture in the area was more mixed. These oral histories will be integrated into the Information Gateway that we have under development.

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