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We owe it all to soil

Conventional agriculture is under huge systemic pressure, from supermarkets and government regulations through to the nation’s relationship with food. It’s a necessity for farms to employ intensive use of chemicals to meet demand. Decades of these short-term fixes cause long term damage to the natural balance of the soil, compounding the problem and becoming an additional pressure on the farms these solutions serve. James’ farm was no different when he took over from his father some years ago.

James’ commitment to healing this damage sees him harvesting an unlikely solution from nearby undisturbed forest floor: mycelium, a network of fungal threads that carry nutrients and bacteria across the microbiome. By working the healthy untouched mycelium back into his own soil he aims to reestablish the healthy network of bacteria that would have existed long ago, resulting in a more sustainable and cost-effective way of producing food.

By reducing production during this process, James steering his family’s farm in a new direction may seem like far cry from the efforts of the generation before him. With hopes of setting an example for others who may wish to do the same, his work aims to restore farming methods of the past whilst protecting both his farm and wellbeing in the future.

“We owe our existence to the top 6 inches of soil - and we treat it like dirt”

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