Tuesday, 24 August 2010

OCW, BOBL, Organic Shiitake Mushrooms.

This is the Farmers hedge of sweet-peas that he is growing in the poly-tunnel. They do very well in there and the season is extended so much that I have been known to cut sweet-peas in December!

Yesterday we had a visit by our local field officer from Organic Centre Wales (http://www.organiccentrewales.aber.ac.uk/). OCW is conducting a survey of organic producers for  the BOBL project...Better Organic Business Links which aims to enable the organic community to 'deliver profitablity,sustainability and exemplary environmental performance'.
Whilst helping to complete a questionnnaire we had very good conversation about a wide range of issues affecting organic food production & farming. One of the biggest issues seems to be the confusion & lack of understanding by the general public over what 'organic' actually means. So much of our & OCW's time is spent 'preaching to the converted'.
Another big issue is public procurement. Even if food for schools & hospitals is not organic it should at the very least be local. We have had self-congratulatory headlines in the Welsh farming press about how school-children in Italy & China are going to be eating Welsh lamb thanks to some trade agreement, but what about the children in Welsh schools?

This morning we had a visit from an organic shiitake mushroom grower (http://www.maesymush.co.uk/). He was looking for oak wood chips for his mushrooms and had heard that the Farmer has a saw-mill and may process quantities of oak, which indeed he does. I think we shall be seeing some more of the Mushroom Grower, especially as by some amazing co-incidence he had been at college with the Farmer in Bedfordshire some 30 years ago!

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