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The official website of the

West Oxfordshire branch

of the

Green Party of England and Wales.

 

 

Serving members, supporters and citizens in the towns and villages around West Oxfordshire, including the following wards:

 

  • Alvescot and Filkins
  • Ascott and Shipton
  • Bampton and Clanfield
  • Brize Norton and Shilton
  • Burford
  • Carterton North West
  • Carterton South  
  • Chadlington and Churchill
  • Charlbury and Finstock
  • Chipping Norton
  • Ducklington
  • Eynsham and Cassington
  • Freeland and Hanborough
  • Hailey, Minster Lovell and Leafield
  • Kingham, Rollright and Enstone
  • Milton under Wychwood
  • North Leigh
  • Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt
  • Stonesfield and Tackley
  • The Bartons
  • Witney Central
  • Witney East
  • Witney North
  • Witney South
  • Witney West
  • Woodstock and Bladon

 

 

 

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Real Food and Sustainable Agriculture Blog

Welcome to our West Oxfordshire Green Party blog on Food and Farming. Please feel free to contribute, as issues and relevant thoughts arise.

 

The Oxford Real Farming Conference in January 2021 raised lots of ideas and issues and was attended by thousands of individuals from around the world.

 

Here in West Oxfordshire the Branch started its activities in this policy area with a visit to the FarmEd Education Centre near Chipping Norton in October, since then our members appetite for more information about real food and sustainable agriculture has grown.

 

This Blog is an attempt by the West Oxfordshire Branch of the Green Party to continue some of the discussions raised at the conference and to stimulate more activity and take up of the concepts raised by the speakers and delegates.

 

Check out the blogs below and let us know what you think.

 

If you want to start a discussion drop us a line by email with the proposed content.

 

Being a public posting the Branch reserves the right to moderate all postings to this Blog.

 

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Latest Posts

Growing Green: Stock Free Agriculture,

Posted on 4th March, 2021

Growing Green: Stock Free Agriculture, Wednesday 10th March 7.30pm

by Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum
 

Ground-breaking farmer Iain Tolhurst at a virtual talk on Wednesday 10th March.

 

Iain’s thriving south Oxfordshire farm was set up to produce locally available, organically grown food without the use of slaughterhouse by-products or animal manures. The farm is Soil Association certified and was the first farm in the world to meet the standards required to register with the Vegan Organic Network. He is an engaging speaker and passionate advocate for the farm’s methods, and sharing lessons learned and the wide benefits in terms of sustainability, carbon footprint and health. We had a great audience for our winter screening of ‘Kiss the Ground’ about regenerative agriculture and decided this would be a suitable follow up to show a real-life UK example of how organic food production can work without farmed animal inputs. As usual, there’ll be time for questions.

 

Whether you’re a gardener, allotment holder, farmer or simply a nature lover who is excited to learn about what a future of growing sustainable plant foods could look like, we’re sure everyone will find something new to learn from Iain

 

To Regsiter click here

 

Find out more about the farm here: https://www.tolhurstorganic.co.uk/

Why We Need Enlightened Agriculture

Posted on 18th February, 2021

The Oxford Real Farming Conference which attracted nearly 5000 attendees from all over the world in January was organised by the Real Farming Trust, which also runs the Campaign for Real Farming.

 

Its message in a nutshell can be seen in the two-and-a-half-minute video Why we Need Enlightened Agriculture.

 

Mary

Growing appreciation for local and

agro-ecological producers 

Extract from artcile entitled "Building back a better food system" by Nina 4th Nov 2020 

https://goodfoodoxford.org/blog/building-back-a-better-food-system/

(Article first published as a guest blog post for CAG Oxfordshire on 22 October 2020 as part of a series on Building Back Better after COVID-19)

 

The pandemic has drawn renewed attention to where our food comes from.

 

During lockdown, demand for local veg boxes boomed, and while large supermarkets scrambled to refill the shelves, the ones who proved most resilient during this time were small retailers selling produce from local suppliers.

 

Local food growers and vendors had their busiest time ever during lockdown, and public awareness of the importance of a healthy regional food system is grew along with the appreciation of independent regional food producers. While many called the public to “support local businesses”, it was actually in equal measure the local producers and businesses supporting the people. The way they stepped up to the challenge showed what a local food economy could be – locally rooted, seasonally oriented and resilient.

 

READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE HERE 

 

https://goodfoodoxford.org/blog/building-back-a-better-food-system/

Food and the Environment BBC3 Podcast

Posted on 5th February, 2021

Food, the Environment and Richard Flanagan

Cassandra Coburn, Anthony Warner and Alasdair Cochrane discuss food security, hunger and vegan politics. Plus Richard Flanagan's novel about ageing and the environment.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000rn6v 

 

Welcome to our West Oxfordshire Green Party blog on Food and Farming, which we hope you will feel free to contribute to as issues and relevant thoughts arise.

 

Three quarters of our constituency is covered by farmland (56% cereals, 30% livestock) with a population 687,466 (2019) largely residing between Witney, Burford, Carterton, Charlbury, Chipping Norton, Eynsham and Woodstock and villages in between.  We have an appealing mix of access to pleasant green spaces and efficient business centres although this does not remove us from the alarming symptoms of climate emergency, some members will recount their personal experiences of repeat flooding and flash flooding of their properties since 2007.   

 

Simultaneously we have been experiencing grave concerns about the water quality of our beloved rivers, Windrush and Evenlode.   We know that the farming industry could make a hugely significant contribution to our carbon storage if we were minded to seize the opportunity.  More recently, our changed status with the EU and Covid-19 has drawn our attention to where we plan to source our food from and indeed, how it is grown.  How can we make a different use of the land that is on our doorstep?

 

The past years have been hugely challenging for the farming community, where they have depended on subsidies (from the EU) whilst needing to raise an income apart from the land in order to make ends meet.  Margins are very tight, supermarkets and multinational cereal companies drive the hardest of bargains and conditions.  Trends, guided by government post WW2 have persuaded farmers to push for higher yields at the unacknowledged cost to biodiversity. We presently have a situation where younger people can neither afford to set up in farming and are discouraged by the exodus from the industry and lacking the very considerable capital to get started. 

 

What can we do?  We know we cannot depend on importing so much out of season food, nor tolerate a society that has such a degree of food poverty as we have seen over the past year.  Neither can we risk loosing any more of our top soil into the rivers, nor allowing these rivers to be further polluted with nitrates and phosphates. 

 

Some of us grow some of our food and many have used lockdown to spend more time growing than ever before and found it more satisfying, the putting down of roots, caring for the soil and wildlife sharing our spaces.  We are encouraged by the regenerative farming movement and its ethos of seven year rotation allowing roots of a variety of plants to become established rebuilding life underground, and Community  Supported Agriculture  set up by the Kitchen Garden Scheme enabling both local employment and opportunities for us to have supplies of vegetables on a regular basis within our towns and villages. 

 

Perhaps we could have a discussion on these issues.

In case you missed the conference some of the talks from the conference are available on the Oxford Real Farmingg Conference  YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgidjvH_QvTzZqsJa7sOr_Q

FarmED Podcasts

Posted on 30th January, 2021

FarmED Podcasts

Have you seen the range of podcasts produced and posted by FarmEd?

 

We found the Local Produce and Routes to Market particularly interesting.

 

What do you think?

 

Have you comments on any of the other podcasts from FarmEd?

 

 

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