About the Farm
Coad Micro Farm is a brand new, tiny, 4.5 acre farm just outside of Cricklade, Wiltshire.
Despite the total land being just over 4.5 acres, the plan is for there to be less than an acre actually in production (at least for the first few years!)
With our growing population and increasing challenges of climate change we are often told that bigger, more industrial and more automated agriculture is the only way to feed the world.
But this style of food production can have many issues…
- It often depletes the soil leaving land in worse condition each year it is farmed causing productivity to go down unless expensive, artificial inputs (like fertiliser) are used, and these inputs can further deplete the land.
- Crucial wildlife species and pollinator habitats are destroyed and their populations negatively affected by the chemical inputs and pesticides often needed for productive, larger scale farming.
- Larger scale farming is very reliant on external inputs which can lead to an unstable food system - For example, as external inputs like fertiliser or pesticides are manufactured worldwide, decisions made in other countries (which we have no control over) can mean the price of these external inputs can fluctuate significantly. Then, because larger scale agriculture is so reliant on these external inputs, there is no option but to continue using them in order to produce the food we need. Therefore these price fluctuations are passed onto to the supermarket shelves where they impact our weekly shop.
- It’s also much harder for people to start a new, conventional farm because you need a lot of land to make large scale agriculture profitable which is extremely expensive, so young people passionate about this industry are unable to start a business.
But there is another option…
Small farms (when managed well) can be just as productive, if not more productive per acre than large farms and can even be more financially viable per acre than large farms.
But not only that, they can also…
- Allow the land to regenerate and actually get better each year it’s farmed because wildlife friendly practices such as no-till and limited machinery are used.
- Can become self-reliant in producing all their own inputs (such as compost) and this really helps with food security as these farms are no longer reliant on inputs coming from a huge company in another country who can dictate any price that has to then be passed onto the consumer…
- Are much more accessible for new farmers because less land is needed. In fact there are some profitable micro farms being run from large back gardens!
- Create more jobs for local populations because less automations and machinery are used. This provides meaningful work for those who don’t wish to work in an office or indoor environment.
- Heal the environment and combat climate change by making food production ultra local (imagine how environmentally friendly it is to get your food from a few miles down the road and the first time it ever left the farm was just to be delivered to your front door!)
Admittedly this makes it sound like large scale farming is the enemy and we should only be focused on small farms, but that’s not the case at all.
There is a place for large farms and they are necessary for many things. For example, you currently cannot rival the technology used on large farms for things like wheat production.
But for a lot of food, like vegetables and salad, small scale farming makes a lot of sense and really helps to diversify our food production system, heal our land and provide meaningful work for people.
And that's where Coad Micro Farm comes in.
We will be focusing on environmentally friendly, wildlife friendly, soil friendly, planet friendly and people friendly practices to produce ultra local, healthy food!
In our first year we focused on microgreen production and general infrastructure such as building no till beds and composting systems.
In our second year we introduced a veg box scheme and continue to build on that infrastructure.
Then in the following years we plan to produce fruit and culinary mushrooms, with the plan to be producing all your fresh veggie needs!
And we might just be tempted into selling some eggs as well, seeing as this farmer is such a fan of all types of poultry!
If you would like to follow our journey then click here to follow us on Instagram where you can see the farm grow, the practices we’re using and new product development!
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