Iain Tolhurst has been at the forefront of the UK organic farming movement for over 40 years. His 8 ha farm has won many awards the most recent being “Soil farmer of the year”. His most recent book “Back to the Land” a chronological compilation of many of the articles and papers that he has written during his long career, gives a fascinating account of the way his farm and business has developed with much emphasis on soil management. His earlier work co-written with Jenny Hall has become a text-book for many especially the newly emerging young people keen to get into Stockfree organic food production.
For many decades he has been delivering inspirational speeches and presentations on the farm’s organic and sustainable methods or food production. His wide knowledge and experience has made him in much demand both nationally and increasingly internationally delivering presentations and educational seminars.
The farm is a model of sustainability and produces a wide range of produce for the local community. Visitors from all over the world are able to see for themselves the various components of the Stock free organic farm, from the green manures and diverse rotations to the woodchip composts and integration of agroforestry to the vegetable system. Iain has been able to maintain a viable and sustainable business on land which is not considered suitable for vegetable production. The integration of crops, a systems approach to pest and disease management and bio-diversity makes for a fascinating and durable agricultural system. He has been heard to say “The primary product of this farm is the culture of bio-diversity, food production is the by-product of that.”