24 August 2022
‘Join forces with nature to look after life on and in earth’
Horticulturist, farmer and writer Monty Don will be broadcasting a BBC Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of the Soil Association on Sunday, August 28th to raise funds to support the Innovative Farmers Programme which leads research into sustainable and nature-friendly growing methods.
Monty Don has been a supporter of the Soil Association for more than 25 years and is a former president of the charity. He is also a passionate advocate of soil health and the need to change the way we farm to protect our soils and climate so that they can feed people for generations to come.
He begins the appeal saying: “As a gardener and also a farmer I have relied on the soil to nourish me all my life. Soil sustains us, feeds us, nurtures our wildlife and captures carbon from the air. But all too often it is treated literally like dirt, and as a result, much of the UK’s soil is now in crisis.”
Monty describes how the Soil Association works with growers through the Innovative Farmers Programme to help them to produce food for us in ways that are better for nature, our health and the global climate. Soil Association’s Innovative Farmers Programme brings together farmers and researchers in ‘field labs’ to test farming methods that are right for climate, nature, and for them.
To date Innovative Farmers, which is in its 10th year, has conducted more than 120 farmer-led research projects involving over 12,000 farmers, such as using natural flower margins to attract predatory insects and combining trees with farm animals in agroforestry.
Monty said: “There are many more Soil Association ‘field labs’ running across the country looking at a wide range of sustainable solutions, such as supporting farmers to farm with trees, and increasing the fertility of soil with earthworms. But there’s still so much more we must do to protect our soil. And if you donate to Soil Association to fund more field labs, a group of generous supporters will match your donation until the first £10,000 is raised."
His appeal will be aired at 11.59pm on Saturday, September 3rd September. For more details, call 0800 404 8144.