The Soil Association runs a series of "Field Labs" as part of their wider Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme. Field Labs bring growers & farmers together with a researcher to solve issues and try new ideas as a group. One such research project is looking at safe grazing of Shropshire sheep in apple orchards across the UK. To find out more about this project click on our Field Lab Poster 1 and Poster 2.
New ideas from farmers and research are put to the test by practitioners themselves. Problem-shooting workshops with farmers can spark important debate within the industry.
Involving farmers in research means results are more relevant and exposes grant funders, researchers and policy makers to their needs. Engaging farmers in the research process is an educational experience and dissemination of results to a wider audience can bring about industry-wide change in practice to more sustainable ways of farming.
Bringing farmers with different cultural management styles together and designing research that will provide wins for all.
Seeking step changes in horticultural practice which make sense for the farmer and the environment alike.