|It's wonderful to see Professor Martin Wolfe's pioneering work on agroforestry reported in the The Guardian & reaching a wider audience. Martin is a long-time friend and mentor to Hodmedod, and grows naked barley, lentils, wheat and more for us. His whole farm system approach and drive for diversity at every level are an inspiration to us.|
Martin Wolfe's truly radical approach to farming is demonstrated by his practice and research at Wakelyns Agroforestry in Suffolk.
Following a career at the Plant Breeding Institute, Cambridge, and later as Professor of Plant Pathology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Martin established Wakelyns.
At Wakelyns Martin works on a wide variety of research projects and trials, exploring the benefits of diversity at every level of farming, from soil microbia, through crop varieties and populations, to the species of flora and fauna across the farm. Field trials are rotated within six organic agroforestry systems, developed to optimise functional biodiversity.
A long-term project on crop population breeding as an alternative to the mainstream cultivation of single pure line varieties has resulted in the YQ wheat population, in which extraordinary genetic diversity derived from both modern and old wheat varieties has resulted in a resilient population that delivers both quality and good yields (hence "YQ"). The wheat is milled at Wakelyns to produce stoneground YQ Population Wheatflour.
Read more about about Martin's work to pioneer agroforestry in British farming in Bibi van der Zee's excellent article in the Guardian, The latest cutting-edge technology changing our landscapes? Trees.
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A few years ago we were looking for a sweetner for some granola recipes, something UK produced and minimally processed. When our apple syrup order from Liberty Fields arrived we knew we were onto something special - we quickly added them to our short list of brilliant Guest Producers
We've launched ten pulses and grains from British farms as part of Holland & Barrett's transformation of their food range, available in their stores across the UK. It's a fantastic opportunity to make British-grown fava beans, carlin peas and quinoa, along with other pulses and cereals, available more widely and to support more diverse farming.
Down a warren of country lanes, not far from the Tamar Valley in Cornwall, is Julie Bailey's orchard Lower Trelabe, where she grows historic local varieties of apple and makes her delicious Apple Natural apple shreds, traditional fruit leathers that contain only the natural plant sugars.