Read an organic apprentice's blog
Cat Laidlaw has been working as a Soil Association Organic Apprentice at North Aston Organics since spring 2011. Find out what's happening on the farm.
Organic Farms Network
Over recent years the Soil Association has been developing a network of open farms that welcome visits from the public and schools. We currently have over 100 farms on the network and are adding new farms all the time. The network includes farms of all shapes and sizes, from walled gardens to large upland estates. All have a common interest in engaging with the public and schools through farm trails, guided walks, open days, school visits and farm shops/holiday accommodation. Many of the farms have a dedicated education officer and offer activities linked to the national curriculum.
What are the benefits of visiting organic farms?
Research has shown that organic farms have greater numbers of insects, birds and wild flowers. The highest animal welfare standards mean that young people can learn how livestock can be reared with respect and compassion. The use of natural fertilisers such as clover and composted manure will help show how it is possible to farm with minimal external inputs thereby reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. By spending time on an organic farm, visitors can begin to understand that there are more sustainable ways of farming that work with nature rather than against it.