Organic cultivation, the heart of the estate, has long been viewed as irrelevant, a throwback to the bad old days of "muck and magic" farming, before the liberating arrival of agricultural chemicals. But – quite apart from the popularity of chemical-free food, dented but not destroyed by the recession – there are good reasons for thinking that it is going back to the future.I am beginning to plan a special issue of our journal Second Spring next year on the theme of gardening, and I expect Highgrove will get a mention.
Agriculture is going to have to be more sustainable... as population growth, resource constraints and climate change combine to cause shortages of food, water and energy... A recent report by Andersons, the farm business consultants, reckons it will become more profitable than conventional agriculture when the oil price reaches $200 a barrel, which is predicted within a decade.
Sunday, 30 May 2010
Highgrove. Far from the hobby of a self-indulgent eccentric, this is actually a test-bed for agricultural techniques that should be applied on a wider scale, and with any luck a sign of things to come. Geoffrey Lean writes in the Telegraph: