Tolhurst Organic

I’ve been wanting to visit Tolhurst Organic, nestled near the Thames, on the Hardwick Estate, for a long time. I remember looking up their open day last year and realising that I’d missed it by a matter of days. This year I was more attentive to my calendar …

Tolhurst Organic isn’t just an organic farm but a stockfree organic farm, producing and distributing around 120 tonnes of vegetables every year. Such farms are few and far between with the term ‘stockfree’ meaning that the farm is run not just without pesticides and artificial fertilisers (as in standard organic farms) but also without any animal input i.e. livestock manures or slaughterhouse by-products. In this sense, their produce can be said to be truly vegan. They promote the use of green manures, cover crops and the use of waste tree material (from local tree surgeons) i.e. composted wood chips. Energy use is also a heightened consideration. Over the course of a year the farm’s total carbon footprint is the same as an average UK house …

With a pint of mulberry cordial in hand, free books on offer, a tour of the garden by Iain ‘Tolly’ Tolhurst and meeting other members of the team, it was pretty much a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

For more information, see Tolhurst Organic and on stockfree farming more generally, Vegan Organic.

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