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In the early days of the 20th century times were hard for a rural economy under pressure. Wealthy Suffolk business-owner, Felix Thornley Cobbold made a financial bequest which, on his death in 1909, was to 'help create a better rural economy' and change the future for many rural labourers. This detailed book is an account of his legacy over 100 years. Rosalind's account begins by looking at the man himself and the pressures and upheaval of the rural economy in his time. She recounts the vision that he had and the changes that he sought to make. She then follows the trust's history as it developed alongside the changes in agriculture from the Second World War through to the recent decline in farming. Over the years it has taken a large number of dedicated people to keep the trust running through the changes and difficulties which it faced. These people feature significantly in the book. While this book was in development, Otley College reached its 40th anniversary. To celebrate, an additional chapter covers the history of this widely respected institution, built on Cobbold land. This account is not simply a history of the development of the charitable trust but a story of the agricultural history of Suffolk, and similar arable areas throughout England, over 100 years.
This book is based on the assumption that "organic has lost its way". Paradoxically, it comes at a time when we witness the continuing of growth in organic food production and markets around the world. Yet, the book claims that organic has lost sight of its first or fundamental philosophical principles and ontological assumptions. The collection offers empirically grounded discussions that address the principles and fundamental assumptions of organic farming and marketing practices. The book draws attention to the core principles of organic and offers different clearly articulated and well-defined conceptual frameworks that offer new insights into organic practices. Divided into five parts, the book presents new perspectives on enduring issues, examines standards and certification, gives insights into much-discussed and additional market and consumer issues, and reviews the interplay of organic and conventional farming. The book concludes with a framework for rethinking ethics in the organic movement and reflections on the positioning of organic ethics.
Sheep and wheat are the staples of dryland farms in the Mediterranean zone of the Northern hemisphere. The commonly used dryland farming system introduced in the 1950s is proving unsustainable. Erosion has reached a critical level and pastures have all but disappeared. Experts advise more cropping (forage crops for instance) and more fertiliser. Yet intensification of the present system will only hasten erosion. Is there an alternative system that is both environmentally sustainable and within the means of most farmers in the region? Innovative farmers in a similar climate in Australia discovered a sustainable rotation using annual medics as both fertiliser and pasture. Attempts to transfer their knowledge have often foundered. Why is this so? How much do the experts know about this system? This book pulls apart the warp and weft of development on dryland farms to try to find some answers to these questions.
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