Most of us are creatures of habit; once we find a way of doing things that works for us, we stick with it until pushed in another direction by suggestion or force. With this in mind, for this year’s Organic September I’m hoping to nudge your shopping habits just a little, by encouraging you to switch something new in your usual shop to organic.
Obviously this does us no harm as a business, but more importantly it would make the world a better place. As the Soil Association has pointed out, making a small change to organic can make a surprisingly large difference: if twenty families switch to organic milk, another cow will be free to range on clover rich organic pastures; if two families switch to organic bacon, one more pig will keep its tail and stay with its mother for much longer; and if one family switches to organic eggs, another hen would have access to grassland and not be at risk of painful beak trimming. Organic farms also support 50% more wildlife, with 30% more species – that’s more birds, bees, butterflies, beetles, bats and wildflowers. If all of that is not positive change, then I do not know what is. As an extra incentive, every customer who has milk, eggs or a fruit bag delivered during September will be entered into a prize draw.
Meanwhile as the winter and spring crop planting draws to a close here on the farm, our thoughts turn to our soils and the life within them. As organic farmers we are reliant on the activity of soil microflora and microfauna to release the nutrients our crops need to flourish. Earthworms play a huge part in this process, as well as boosting soil drainage and aeration; without them, we’d be in trouble. With this in mind we launched our national earthworm survey in May this year, and hundreds of you have got involved by downloading or ordering our survey booklet. We need more results to get a good picture of the wellbeing of the UK’s earthworm population though, so visit big worm dig site to get involved.