Soil Texture: Sand, Silt and Clay

Today, as part of the series of posts on soils, we are going to look at 'soil texture'. Soil forms the basis for all life but it's important to know about its mineral constitution as well as its biological profile. Texture refers to the 'feel' of the soil. This is affected by the constituent materials … Continue reading Soil Texture: Sand, Silt and Clay

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The Five Factors of Soil Formation

If you have ever looked closely at soils in different areas you will know that they all look, feel and smell different. They also play host to different plants and some contain more visible organisms than others. Why is this? How have they come to be so different? What factors should be considered? These were … Continue reading The Five Factors of Soil Formation

Soil – ‘the cinderella subject’

Last week I gave a talk to a brilliantly engaged audience (or so they seemed!) in Essex on the hopelessly neglected subject that is 'soil'. I have received several messages asking for the topic to be profiled more regularly on the blog, so this post will be the first of a week's worth of posts dedicated … Continue reading Soil – ‘the cinderella subject’

Thank you for breaking the silence! #FarmerMentalHealth

#FarmerMentalHealth https://twitter.com/PAPYRUS_tweets/status/798905314959654912 https://twitter.com/FarmersOfTheUK/status/798947312349413381 https://twitter.com/hutch472/status/798891749657563137 https://twitter.com/CodieneC/status/798958581164818433 https://twitter.com/naturalistdara/status/798989156064051200 https://twitter.com/claeastsurveyor/status/799000827713167360 https://twitter.com/AlexanderBrews2/status/799012256428064768 I couldn't have been more pleased with the impact of my humble post from yesterday, which aimed to raise further awareness of the need to talk about mental health in the farming community. It continues to be a stigma, and needn't be. My social media platforms, both … Continue reading Thank you for breaking the silence! #FarmerMentalHealth

Why we should talk more about mental health in farming

This article is all about mental health in the farming community. Please help in breaking the stigma by tweeting in support of farmers who suffer from mental health, using the hashtag #FarmerMentalHealth and perhaps consider making a donation to The Farming Community Network through their JustGiving Page. Alternatively, donate to Papyrus through their Just Giving Page. Thank … Continue reading Why we should talk more about mental health in farming

Book Review: ‘Common Ground’ by Rob Cowen

Common Ground is an exploration of place that is in some ways endemic to the 'new nature writing' of our age, and yet it is also riddled with originality, pronounced detail and a freshness to its vibe that only journalist Rob Cowen could produce. It tells the story of his new life in Yorkshire, having … Continue reading Book Review: ‘Common Ground’ by Rob Cowen

How do you prune an apple tree?

On our Essex farm stands an orchard (with cider apple varieties), put in by my uncle nearly 20 years ago. For most of the last few years (with the exception of this year as I have been at the opposite end of the country) I have 'attempted' to make cider, with a range of success. Ambition … Continue reading How do you prune an apple tree?

Sunday in Somerset

This afternoon I was fortunate to spend some time with prolific author Stephen Moss and fellow AFON committee member Matt Williams, exploring an area of Somerset I had not previously thought of visiting: immediately south of Burnham on Sea. ''What's different?'' Stephen asked Matt and I as we set out along the grassy wall. His … Continue reading Sunday in Somerset