Organic Farming Study Tour
Students on the distance learning PGDip/MSc Organic Farming course visited some of the UK’s leading organic producers – including Prince Charles’ Duchy Farm – on their recent study tour.
In 2016 the programme set up a formal partnership with the Organic Research Centre and this year, for the first time, ran the study tour from their HQ at Elm Farm, Berkshire.
Over three days the students visited some of the UK’s most well established and best known organic farms, which are within an hour’s drive of Elm Farm. They learnt about a diverse range of organic research and practices from growing borage on Sheepdrove Farm for Neal’s Yard Cosmetics to heritage varieties of barley grown on the Duchy Home Farm for Stroud Brewery.
The tour also featured a visit to Helen Browning’s Organic, run by the CEO of the Soil Association, to learn how they produce organic bacon and a visit to Tolhurst Organic where Iain Tolhurst has pioneered stock free organic production of fruit, vegetables and herbs. They grow over 25 different plant species on seven hectares of fields, and 50 species in 1 hectare of walled garden.
Dr Lou Ralph, Programme Leader of MSC Organic Farming, said: “The study tours allow our students to visit a different range of farms that are accessible from Craibstone, furthering opportunities to see organic farming in practice. Our partnership with the Organic Research Centre enabled us to base this year’s Tour in new territory, with access to some of the leading organic farms in the UK.”