On Wednesday night I had the privilege of addressing the members of the 2016 Oxford Farming Conference during the annual debate held in the historic Oxford Union building. The motion before the house was “Agriculture is an Equal Opportunities Industry” and I was invited to argue against the proposal. For those of you who weren’t […]

Farming: noun – The activity or business of growing crops and raising livestock Has the time come to rename the industry? It’s a simple concept, the act of growing food, but it’s an activity that engages fewer and fewer people. As we move into urban areas, pursue employment in tertiary and service industries, we’re leaving […]

Summertime transforms our farming landscape. Field upon field of wheat, barley, oil seed rape and more are combined with the resultant crops destined for a diverse range of uses including milling, feed and fermentation for beer. The key component of this process is the combine harvester and without these leviathans of the land farmers would face […]

As summer develops the rural landscape changes too, farmers are busy cutting hay for winter feed and gathering silage to feed dairy cattle whilst they’re housed indoors. The changes aren’t solely confined to our grasslands: arable fields progress through a rainbow of colours, from bright green to golden yellows. The uniformity of arable crops achieved […]

As February progresses, we head towards March, winter’s icy grip starts to be left behind and the regeneration of spring begins its enchanting spell.  February is also the month when the last fresh game birds are available from winter shoots and game, a stalwart of British cooking, starts to ebb away from the menu. In […]

Tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family and thus related to aubergines, peppers and chillies. Originally from South America they were first recorded as being eaten in the United Kingdom in the 1590s. Technically tomatoes are actually berries and therefore fruit, however for culinary purposes we have become accustomed to thinking of them as […]

There are enough in the United Kingdom for every 2.73 people to have one. Lined up nose to tail (easier said than done), in total they would stretch along England’s coastline 3.8 times. Of course, I’m referring to sheep!   The United Kingdom was home to 23 million of the little woolly blobs between December […]