Seed sovereignty for Cae Tan & the UK

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Our crop planning complete for 2018, we have received our seeds & packed them under my stairs ready for this seasons sowing.

The majority of our seed this year is open pollenated & bought from The UK Seed Co-operative. They are a company seeking to bring seed growing back to the UK & back to the growers who buy their seed.

Seed is a critical element of a sustainable food system. Traditionally growers would have saved their own seed each year as a part of the seasons jobs. As we have moved away from saving our own seed, specialists have taken this over & much seed growing is now done abroad & the seed imported. This means that crops are not adapting to our local climates & a potential source of income for local growers has been exported.

Cae Tan are currently joining forces with The Gaia foundation seed sovereignty project. We will be joining other professional growers in April to train with ‘The Real Seed Catalogue’ in Pembrokeshire, where we will learn seed growing techniques & start on a small scale to grow commercial seed crops.

This adds another small income stream to Cae Tan, whilst preserving both traditional seed saving techniques & locally adapted seed varieties that are available to other UK growers!

 

 

The godfather of UK organic growing spends the day coaching Cae Tan.

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It may look like Captain Jack Radish training up new young pirates, but in fact its Iain Tolhurst who spent the day with a group of us from Cae Tan sharing some of his 40 years of in depth knowledge of organic growing.

Key learning for Cae Tan was around;

  • 8 year crop rotations with fertility building underlays
  • Soil analysis at both sites
  • Fertility building through planting short rotation willow & alder coppice
  • Effective machinery use

This was funded through FCFCG as a Welsh initiative to support the development of CSA in Wales. We hope to have Tolly back once a year to give continued advice & support.

2018 Trainee posts filled!

Welcome to our RDP trainee for 2018.

IMG_0023Abbi Mason has spent the past five years working at Camas outdoor centre for young people & disadvantaged groups, offering them the opportunity to engage with the wild elements on The Isle of Iona off the West Coast of Scotland. Abbi worked here initially as the gardener & then took on the role of centre manager.

Previously to this she worked as a freelance gardener, helped in a school in India & worked on a larger scale organic farm community in New Zealand.

11393726_10204557518634730_3191292346884506633_oIsabel Vasquez Valero is from Spain. She is joining us via the European Volunteer Scheme. She studied her degree in biotechnology. She has been a professional track athlete & coached in this area. She has worked on environmental, youth & growing projects in Taiwan, Iceland, Germany & the Canary Islands.

We look forward to having Abbi & Isabel as part of the team this season.