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This is our free directory to local food producers in suport of the Cornish Diet idea: 80%+ of your food produced in Cornwall. Miles better value than any supermarket : Reduction in food miles and energy use + Better for the local economy: more jobs + Increase in food security + Better animal welfare + Better social cohesiveness + Better value for money + Better deal for farmers + Better quality, fresher + Reskilling in traditional food preparation.
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Award winning farm starts Food Assembly for Bude

Award winning farm starts Food Assembly for Bude

Last week, we went on a little adventure to West Country: visiting farms, meeting future hosts and spreading the Food Assembly word from Swindon down to Bude (a town on the very far coast of Cornwall). On this journey, we met Paul and Celia Sousek, two meat farmers who 9 years ago had never done any farming at all and who now own a farm considered a pioneer in sustainable farming. Whilst that’s extraordinary in itself, there’s much more to the Cottage Farm Organics story. Shall we take a visit?

Cottage Farm is an organic, sustainable, resilient, carbon-sink farm powered by renewable energy with near zero use of fossil fuels, a first of its kind in the country! The farm was established in 2005 when the Souseks packed up their Sevenoaks life and moved to Cornwall. After completing a quick “cows for beginners” course, they adopted a handful of calves and begun their sustainable farming journey. Their bold move was inspired by their youngest son, who introduced them to the concept of peak oil. Realising that for every 1 calorie of food we produce, we use up 9 calories of fossil fuels (on average), and that we are quickly running out of this resource, Paul decided it was time to show the world that things can be done differently and that fossil-free meat farming is possible.

Since, the farm has obtained the organic status and has successfully established a herd of Red Ruby cattle and Wiltshire Horn sheep alongside a few hens and geese. The breeds were chosen carefully. The native Red Ruby was chosen because, well, it’s native to the area and thus makes sense: The cattle graze on native pastures and require very little additional assistance (feed or veterinary treatment) to live a happy and healthy life. Similarly, the sheep were chosen as they’re well suited for the local environment and because the family wanted to adopt a breed that doesn’t need shearing.

And the fossil-free part? Well… They’ve have installed solar PV panels, a wind turbine, solar thermal tubes (to heat water), a wood burner (using wood grown on the farm exclusively), a bore hole, and even make their own bio-diesel from waste vegetable oil (collected from neighbouring restaurants) to power their tractors, and other vehicles needed for deliveries.

Aside from environmental benefits associated with sustainable agricultural practices (such as reduced carbon emissions, and carbon sequestration due to being an organic farm), Cottage Organic Farms sees financial benefits too and that means more affordable sustainable meat for everyone. The meat is sold at a very competitive price, often actually cheaper than supermarket alternatives. Most of it is sold directly to customers, a lot through their www.BigBarn.co.uk shop and soon in a Bude Food Assembly.

That’s right! Not only will Cottage Farm Organics be supplying meat to the Food Assembly, Paul will soon be opening an Assembly in Bude, with help from his Transition group and a group of people organising Bude-For-Food, a local food festival. That means he’ll be both a producer and a host. Welcome aboard!

What Cottage Farm Organics and the Sousek family demonstrate is that sustainable agriculture is possible - environmentally, socially and economically. I’m not a vegetarian, but I’ve decreased my intake of meat dramatically in recent years, for environmental, health and animal welfare reasons. I seldom buy it but when I do, I buy better quality meat and I can’t wait to try some Cottage Farm Organics beef!

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COMMENTS

Paul Sousek October 15, 2014 16 h 29 min
Thank you for the blog – its really so well written, congratulations.

I would just add that we also belong to a charity called SuperHomes (www.Superhomes.org.uk), a collection of homes that have all reduced their CO2 emissions by at least 60% and that hold Open Days for the public to show people what can be done and how to go about it. We have reduced our emissions by 115% (i.e. nearly all, plus generating clean energy for the grid) and in addition we have also installed a medium size wind turbine that generates enough energy to power 40 average homes.

Contact us if you would like to come to one of the next Open Days

Original articles and pictures here: http://blog.foodassembly.com/2014/10/15/introducing-cottage-farm-organics/