Mon 20 Feb 2017

Welcome! Please introduce yourself

LHB Loomio Helper Bot Public Seen by 54

Take a moment to let the group know a bit about who you are. Post a comment below.

What’s your role or approach to participation in this group? What should people know about you to understand where you’re coming from?


Grahame Hunter Mon 20 Feb 2017

Hi, I will be the facilitator of your Group - which means

  • that I do not vote
  • that if you write anything cheeky, I can edit or delete it
  • from time to time I will call a vote and chase the recalcitrant
  • I have a hot line to John (I am the occupant of his attic)

Furthermore, I am a Utopian architect who believes that bread should be baked with spelt, buildings can be made with mud and straw, that stories are better tall, and that a man's hat can be as broad as his church.


James Tickell Tue 21 Feb 2017

My name is James - and like Graham I'm an architect by training. I'm an incurable optimist, except when I'm being incurably cynical. These days I work with not-for-profit organisations on their governance, and sorting out their problems. I believe strongly in the mutual sector, and I'm excited to be part of this initiative - it could and should be the start of a movement to change the model of agriculture in this country and beyond.


Wendy Alcock Tue 21 Feb 2017

Hello! I'm Wendy and I'm a self-sufficiency wanabee with a tiny ‘farm’ in my North London home. I grow my own food, keep a few cheeky chooks and make my own bread and other foods. I recently started Incredible Edible Barnet to grow food in public places in my community and hopefully #Ourfield takes this idea one stage further so I can learn more about the food I eat with others.


Romy Miller Wed 22 Feb 2017

Hi, I'm Romy. I look after marketing for Gail's Bakery, which is a bakery specialising in sourdoughs and other baked goodies. We use the best ingredients we can find and we bake for our shops which are across London and just beyond. I spend my life thinking about how our customers will hear about and understand what we do. As we focus on making good bread more accessible to the communities we live in, I'm keen to support #OurField to share the journey, using our brand footprint to share the experience.


Christine Lewis Wed 22 Feb 2017

Hello, I'm Christine. My interests here are bread making and heritage grains. Looking forward to changing my priorities and life choices. I am keen on knowing more about the bread supply chain and understanding more about farming pressures and practice. I am very supportive of cooperative development and sharing risk with producers - such a refreshing change. We can do much more together than apart. Great to be on board #OurField Weston in such a supportive community.


Darren Wed 22 Feb 2017

Hello, I'm really interested in people growing their food together (which I understand we may not be doing- but I really hope we will be). I'm particularly excited about the collaborative governance model of this project- I've been imaging a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) scheme run like this for some time (I don't think such a thing has happened?) and am intrigued to see how things will go.

I'm pasionate about soil, permaculturey type stuff, open source technologies (software, hardware and beyond into the social sphere) and how groups collaborate to achieve stuff (and how they can do it better). In line with this I collaborate in a few projects Travelling Toolbox, SoilHack and A project to enable access to land by living (full or part time) as a co-operative of nomadic farmers


Tristram Stuart Wed 22 Feb 2017

Hi, I'm Tristram. I'm a campaigner & author determined to help transform food production from the biggest environmental problem to one of our most powerful tools for tackling climate change, creating habitat, reversing biodiversity loss, whilst providing nourishing food for all. My books are Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal and The Bloodless Revolution, and I am the Founder of feedbackglobal.org & toastale.com
Warmest, Tristram


Niki Reynolds Wed 22 Feb 2017

Hi, I'm Niki.
Am delighted to be part of a collaborative group in this OurField project.. I have a passion for sustainable food growing.. I have an academic background in Geology and Horticulture and have spent many years working on private gardening projects including a stint at Kew Gardens. I have also grown and harvested my own edible herbs and vegetables in my garden at my previous property.
I have recently completed studying a Nutrition Diploma as I am passionate about health and wellness and food quality and how to produce food that is high in nutrients .
Currently I am volunteering with FoodCycle in London, preparing meals for the vulnerable from donated surplus food. I am keen to learn as much as I can about the process of sowing a field crop from start to finish and taking part in collective decision making at all stages.. I am a keen photographer and will enjoy documenting each of the stages and farm visits with photographs and will be happy to share them within the group on various platforms where applicable..


Matteo De Vos Wed 22 Feb 2017

Hi, I’m Matteo.
I’m the guy based in Paris. I’m interested in exploring decentralised, local, collaborative approaches to agriculture. I’m excited to see what we can achieve together and how we can inspire communities in France and elsewhere to do the same.
I’m looking forward to getting to know you all better and in sharing our progress with the world through my For Food’s Sake podcast. I already had a wonderful chat last month with Phoebe Tickell about #OurField and what lies ahead, here.


Annie Landless Thu 23 Feb 2017

Hi! I'm Annie, I'm on the organising team for #OurField and a Co-investor too!

I work for The Food Assembly helping to support our network of local organisers across the UK with running their online farmers markets/ foodie communities.

I come from a farming family, my father grows cereal crops at home on our family farm alongside rearing cattle. I'm interested in re-inventing the supply chain, collaboration in farming, and what the future looks like for agriculture.

I'm sharing this spot with my Dad, and will have input from my Mum, Sister, and most probably Granny too! Excited to embark on this journey of learning with all of you.


Fiona Thu 23 Feb 2017

Good to meet everyone the other day and thanks for letting me film everything and look forward to more days out, and decisions. I'm a documentary film-maker and making a film centred around the Cherry farm for a year....


Karl Schneider Fri 24 Feb 2017

Hi, I'm Karl. I'm the editor of Farmers Weekly magazine. I'm very interested in anything that involves the wider public more closely in farming, and in initiatives exploring new ways to farm. I was disappointed not to be able to come to the on-farm day last week. I'm sharing the place with my wife Jackie, who is also very interested in food and farming - she's been a campaigner on food issues for many years and worked for a while at Sustain, the food and farming charity.


Matthew Shribman Fri 24 Feb 2017

Morning all, I'm Matthew. I'm a science presenter (e.g. http://www.facebook.com/ScienceInTheBath ) and a musician (e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2CWWyrreNU ).

I'm extremely passionate about sustainability, and I'm hoping to learn a lot from this here field of ours.


Sinead Fenton Fri 24 Feb 2017

Hello, I'm Sinead,

Like Niki, I'm a geologist by training and am currently exploring means of bringing soil science and geology back together again, as well as trying to build engagement and understanding about our natural resources as a whole through art and education - so from the ground, through to the product, and into re-use (ideally eliminating waste!!!).

I also write and photograph on my blog Fenton Eats which I use as a means of exploring the food system and sharing my journey of overcoming anxieties around food. So I was really interested by this project as a means of re-conceptualising our relationship to the food system, through diverse collaboration and getting people involved, whilst also learning more about what it really takes to grow our crops!

Looking forward (and feeling very humbled) to be on this journey with you all!



Harry Greenfield Fri 24 Feb 2017

Hi everyone, I'm Harry
I work on agriculture policy for a conservation NGO and before that I used to organise the Oxford Real Farming Conference, as well as working on other projects with farmers (Pasture-Fed Livestock Association) and politicians (the APPG on Agroecology).

I feel there is a shortage of inspiring models for sustainable arable farming compared to in horticulture and livestock, where I have seem some great projects exploring new ways of doing things, new markets and better engagement with the public.

I'm hoping to learn a lot about how the cycle of crop production works, as well as the risks involved!


Steven Jacobs Sat 25 Feb 2017


I'm business development manager at OF&G (http://ofgorganic.org/) who are the largest certifier of organic land in the UK. I organise an event each year, National Organic Combinable Crops (http://ofgorganic.org/events/national-organic-combinable-crops-nocc-2017/) which we started ten years ago with the aim of helping commercial cereal growers in the transition to and maintenance of a system approach to food production using rotation cropping with lower energy inputs and having more focus on better supply chain relations while running successful food businesses. Healthy soils, healthy food, healthy people.
I've been working in people-centred food commerce (as opposed to profit-centred) for thirty years. For me its about connecting with my food and those who have worked to put it on my table.
And I'm very pleased to be a part of OurField Weston.


Averil Glencross Sat 25 Feb 2017

Hi I am Averil, Sorry for not being at the first meeting. Look forward to meeting you at the next. I run a small corporate branding company in Cornwall and as you can see from the picture I have horses. I have a keen interest in where my food comes from and its journey before it hits my table. I have just taken on an allotment plot to experiment myself. Looking forward to being involved in this venture.


Catherine Arend Sat 25 Feb 2017

Hi, I'm Catherine
I am French, living in North West London since the 80s and working as a film editor. I am working on a documentary about the Cherry Farm and conservation agriculture (with my very talented film school friend Fiona Cunningham-Reid directing).
Already because of research for the doc, I have changed the way I shop for food and am very keen to learn more about agriculture and how to promote better food for all.


Tamsyn Forsyth Sun 26 Feb 2017

Hello! We are Tamsyn and Matthew Forsyth and we are acting as one vote. We are currently (but not for much longer) working in the city a science writer and marketeer; Tamsyn also has a background in nutrition and is very interested in the microbiome and how nutrition affects its status. We are soon going to be running a small cafe deli and food website based in Oxfordshire, which is primarily concerned with the end of the chain where the product meets the customers. Essential to this business is ensuring we are offering nutritious produce packed with flavour, and we are concerned that some modern agricultural techniques are eliminating both of these. We were very attracted to this project as it is a model that allows us to get more involved with the production process from it's beginning, and importantly the risk sharing allows farmers to investigate growing methods and crops that are better for both the consumer and the environment. Finally connecting and engaging a community with the food they eat is really important to us and this seems like a fantastic project for doing this. We are excited for the journey!


Emerson Csorba Mon 27 Feb 2017

Hi everyone! It was great meeting many of you two Sundays ago. I'm Emerson, and I've over the past several years run a consulting firm with projects (mostly in the education sector) across Canada, the UK, the US and Israel. I'm born and raised in Canada, where I did a BA in Sciences Politiques and subsequently, a M.Phil at Cambridge University focused primarily on Nussbaum's capabilities approach, social entrepreneurship and the notion of social autonomy. I'm now doing a D.Phil at Oxford University focused on vocational pathways, where the British farming will play an important role in my research. I'm pretty actively involved in Canadian public policy as a Fellow of Canada's Public Policy Forum and write for several newspapers/media publications such as the Telegraph, Globe & Mail and New York Times. One of my most interesting clients in past years has been Olds College, one of Canada's leading agriculture post-secondary research institutions. It is through Olds College that I became semi-involved in agriculture, and have since been working to connect Canadian and Israeli agricultural leaders (and would like to bring what is learned through OurField back into the Canadian context). I'm keen to meet each of you and to engage with you in this process over the next year.


Tony Allan Tue 28 Feb 2017

Tony Allan
I am a water scientist based at King’s College where we have an expert interdisciplinary group of scientists and professionals - including John Cherry and three other farmers. We focus on the water resources embedded in food supply chains highlighting the essential role of farmers in stewarding water. Farmers manage on behalf of society about 90% of its water consumption in producing our food and fibre. They are also society’s main managers of biodiversity, and they account for about 25% of emissions and they also play a major role in determining the quality of food nutrition.
Farmers should get prices for their production that reflect all the production costs as well as all of the costs of stewarding ecosystems. But they exist in a food system where international food prices have fallen by 1 % per year partly because consumers want affordable food and legislators know there is an imperative to provide it. Legislators do this via production and consumer subsidies. Under priced food enjoyed by consumers creates difficult circumstances for farmers to make decisions that are good for society and the planet. Food is under priced because a significant proportion of consumers - many with jobs in the food supply chain on farms, in food processing, in supermarkets and in restaurants, are underpaid. The Ourfield project is a uniquely effective way to reveal to those participating the market and environmental risks of farming. Many many more need to be informed.


Alexandra Sexton Thu 2 Mar 2017

Hi everyone!

It was great meeting everyone the other week and sorry this is a bit late - I'm Alex and I'm a Geography PhD student researching food and innovation at King's College London. I'm a social scientist so my work is very interested in the political and cultural aspects of the food system.

The big question that initially brought me to my research was 'how are we going to feed the world in more sustainable and ethical ways, particularly in light of growing populations and global challenges such as climate change?' My PhD has focussed mainly on recent activities within Silicon Valley where a lot of tech companies have decided to try and address this big question by developing alternative methods for producing animal proteins. So over the last three and a half years I've been following the development of technologies such as lab-grown (aka 'cultured') meat, edible insects and new types of plant-based proteins. It's been fascinating to observe the coal-face of a new sector, and in particular to (critically) reflect on how existing politics and cultural mechanisms around food have been entangled in these new technologies.

I believe that there are many ways to do 'innovation' and so I'm really excited to be part of the OurField project because to me it is an adventure into a model of innovation that is very different from the high-tech world I research, and potentially promises more useful and progressive 'disruption' of the problems that currently face our food system - for example, the co-op rather than private model, and transparency over the often aggressive IP-focus of many high-tech ventures.

I feel I'm very good at eating food and fairly ok at cooking it, but I embarrassingly know very little about how to grow it...! So I'm also very excited to learn a lot more about the decisions that go into food production and the risks farmers face. Looking forward to sharing in this journey with you all and hopefully starting something that we can go on to show could have major positive impacts on the ways we do food and farming in the UK.


Sebastian & Dan Powell Sun 5 Mar 2017

Hi, I’m Seb and I am really interested in sustainability and getting involved in new and interesting initiatives such as this one to bring me back into contact with the world of farming after working abroad in the adventure travel industry.
I am sharing my vote with my dad, Dan Powell who is the Farm Manager at River Cottage and is also involved with setting up Landbase, a training initiative for current and aspiring land workers.


James Tickell Sun 12 Mar 2017

I'm James. I work in the not-for-profit sector, advising charities, housing associations and government bodies. I'm increasingly convinced that the (so-called) advanced capitalist economic model is slowly failing, as wealth and power become concentrated in ever fewer hands. That goes for the global agriculture and food industries as much as any other.

So ... I'm interested in disruptive social inventions, such as Our Field, which - if brought to scale - will help disrupt the food chain in its present form, and bring back control and involvement to the grass roots. My main concern is fighting inequality - income, health, and social. So I see this initiative as part of a wider fight-back against global corporate power, and an exciting one too.

I also realise that I've introduced myself twice, as I got chased for not responding, and assumed that my original had got lost!

I'll be sharing my vote with my daughter Alice.


Ben Tue 27 Mar 2018

Hi all, I'm Ben Carr and currently reside in Norwich, NR2, though am originally from Ipswich. My Masters was in Conflict, Governance and International Development (actually I interviewed you Tony for my thesis!). I've worked/volunteered/consulted for various NGOs in the UK and abroad, on projects that recognise the 'oneness' of livelihoods and natural stewardship (Oxfam, WWF, Innovations for Poverty Action). I have many different though overlapping interests (jack of all trades frequently comes to mind!), but beginning 3 years ago I ventured out to learn more about the practicalities of living sustainably/positively. That's involved lots of volunteering on farms and projects, a lot of reading, attending the Oxford Real Farming Conferences 2017&2018 as well as workshops and courses (for example the Organic Research Centre/wonderful woodchip event held at Tolinghurst near Reading last month) and joining the Landworkers Alliance and the Organic Research Group. I have biases/inclinations in terms of organic, no-till and small scale (I know more about horticulture than I do about arable certainly), and have therefore joined the collective to see and learn how challenging growing proves to be in practical, financial, and environmental terms and what difficult decisions have to be made. I continue to visit and volunteer my time on projects in return for learning, with the eventual aim that I one day find my niche/land of my own for 'back to the land' living. Looking forward to sharing in some discussions and group visits as we help steward ourfield. Cheers!


Wendy Alcock Wed 28 Mar 2018

Hi Ben and welcome to ourfield :)


Rosy Benson Wed 28 Mar 2018

Hello Everyone I’m Rosy, I’m a teacher and baker at e5 Bakehouse helping to spread the message of real bread which we know importantly starts in the field; in the soils health, in the diversity and resilience of the farm and the diversity of the grain. Having worked at the doughy end of the production line I wanted to be part of the OurField project to gain a better understanding of growing field scale and learn how we can grow good quality diverse grains organically in the UK for human consumption and at the same time help to regenerate that soil (possible? hopefully!). The other challenge being how to get local bakeries to access that grain and if the project proves to be a success could it be to replicated? Through working for a year at e5 I’ve been very fortunate to work with freshly milled organic grain daily and been inspired by the determination of the bakery to support UK organic grain production and create a thriving community bakery, but realise there is still a long way to go to help everyone to access good food, and support a sustainable supply chain, challenging the current model and demonstrating the vision seems a good place to start. I hope to learn more from John the farmer and you all and I hope to share my understanding. I am part of a growing number of bakers and customers who are engaged and are demanding better for the future of our environment and our health. Over the years I’ve been to a few events held by the the Organic Research Centre, Landbase, Brockwell Bake, ORFC and e5 perhaps covering some of the issues we will be facing so hope that will help in my contributions to the discussion. Where our grain currently comes from, the diversity of grains we could stone mill and how we ferment those grains to produce some potentially delicious real bread has been an obsession of mine and kept me totally engaged in bread making for the last 5 years. This has led me to work at e5 so far but still hoping to find more answers which may point me onto the next step - perhaps growing grain and baking. Though that might be a little exhausting! On a side note, I have a background in Permaculture having done the Shift Bristol year long Practical Sustainability course covering group work, community resilience, horticulture, roundwood timber framing, and welding… to name a few skills. I also apprenticed in woodworking before baking. I like to spend my time enjoying woodlands/craft, food, music and cycling. Looking forward to meeting you all soon!


Shena Cooper Sun 1 Apr 2018

Hi Rosy......Bread is always a major worry when we rescue food for The Real Junk Food Project in Northamptonshire....not just the quantity (around 250kg a week) but the quality....cheap flour, grown in highly fertilised soil, flown half way round the world and then put into landfill.....plus all the bread thrown away in the home because it is so cheap no one cares!!! Rant over.....and if I lived in London I would get my bread from E5!


Tony Allan Thu 29 Mar 2018

Thank you Ben and Rosy for sharing the information on your interests and priorities. It is very helpful.


Oliver Rubinstein Thu 29 Mar 2018

Hi everyone, I'm Oliver and have been following this project for a while, so it's great to finally get involved. I'm an agricultural sustainability consultant, with a particular interest in soils. Previously, I worked for the Organic Research Centre, where I did some work on assessing the potential to market bread from their composite cross wheat population, amongst other things. I also covered organics at the NFU for a while and spent a season growing organic vegetables at Daylesford too. I grew up in Cambridge and although we're surrounded by some of the most fertile land in the country, it worries me to see how little people understand about what's going on in the fields around them, so this is a fantastic project from that perspective.


Cat Gregory Thu 29 Mar 2018

Hi everyone. I'm Cat and I joined the project as I'm interested in sustainability and the impact of food production on the environment as well as the health implications of food processing that goes on in the UK (most notably in things like bread). I'd like to learn more about farming and food production to understand what's happening at the moment and the implications it might have for the future. As excited as I am to be involved, I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed going through all of the info on this site from the past year and worry that as a lay person without any kind of expertise like others in the group I'm going to struggle to make a meaningful contribution to the project. I'd love to hear from any other members who feel similarly though I don't mind being the only one asking basic questions! The main aim for me is to learn something about farming so I'm confident that will happen. Trepidation aside, I am a keen baker, cook and preserver so hopefully there will be opportunities to use these skills too in some way.


Wendy Alcock Thu 29 Mar 2018

Hi Cat. Welcome and don't worry, I have no expertise in farming either, I'm just a home grower who is inquisitive about her food and wants to find out more! I’ve learnt a lot over the last year but I know it’s still a smidgen of what there is to know – so lots more to get involved in this year too :)


Christine Lewis Fri 30 Mar 2018

Hi Cat and like Wendy last year I didn't know I didn't know so much but this is a great community to find out more - really good to get more people involved in the project.


Anna Öhrling Fri 30 Mar 2018

Hello! My name is Anna, and I'm super excited to get involved. I'm originally from Finland, although now I'd call myself a Londoner. I heard about the project through @matteodv and was immediately interested to join - I am also an amateur when it comes to all things agriculture, so may need to ask some pretty basic questions at times, but I have joined to learn, and be inspired. I am finishing my Master's in Sustainability and Social Innovation at the moment, and will be moving back to London in the summer (so am hoping I will be able to visit the farm sometime soon!). In terms of my professional background, I worked in advertising for almost 5 years at Anomaly London and AMV BBDO, so would be able to offer some brand and comms guidance if need be. Lovely to meet you all!


Kirsten Foster Sat 31 Mar 2018

Hi everyone. I feel like I might be the one with the least relevant experience and knowledge in this. I wanted to get involved because I'm interested in food in general and fair and sustainable food in particular, and this project seemed like a good model for investigating and interrogating ideas for fair and sustainable food production. My background is in writing/editing - consumer mags mostly. The main things I think I can contribute are money and curiosity! By the way - I'm not as hairy as my profile pic. I just have very few pics of me but I'll try and dig something recent out to help ID at any meetups.


Nicola Hughes Sat 31 Mar 2018

Hello hello hello all. I'm Nicola, based in East London but a country mouse at heart. My professional life is mostly doing policy, research, training and writing in the public and charity sectors. I'm also a trustee of a small recycling/ sustainability charity and of a social enterprise that uses catering, pop-ups and supper clubs to support and train homeless people. I'm an amateur grower, studying organic horticulture and volunteering on a few small community growing projects in and around Walthamstow. Part of my interest in this project - alongside general interest in sustainability, farming for wildlife and food - is to get more exposure to the realities of farming on a slightly bigger scale. Competent baker :)


Shena Cooper Sun 1 Apr 2018

Hi I am Shena......I am a campaigner for food system reform and for a move to local food security. Previously I worked with my daughter Amy Cooper (also a helper here) on engaging young children with healthy eating (The Secret Seed Society) she now runs this project. Over the last 3 years I have set up The Real Junk Food Project in Northamptonshire. My husband and I are keen vegetable gardeners, foragers, cooks and eaters. We believe there is a way to feed the planet equitably and sustainably. We have little knowledge of large scale growing so we are interested in this project, not for the bottom line but to see how we can develop the fields to produce varied and optimum food with as little negative environmental impact as possible.


Tony Allan Mon 2 Apr 2018

Dear Shena, Nicola, Anna and Kirsten
Thank you very much for sharing your profiles. It is very useful to hear about your priorities and interests. They all align. Best Tony Allan.


Amyc Tue 3 Apr 2018

Hello everyone, I am Amy. I think there is so much opportunity to improve our health and the health of the planet through the way we eat. I studied economics and systems design at LSE and 15 years ago I started to be curious in the food system, I couldn't see how it made any sense. I changed the way I ate, building urban edible environments in E.London, setting up community buying groups, broadening my diet with dry foods and learning to process gluts. Most recently, I have been really inspired by the work of 'Superhero' farmers I have met at the Oxford Real Farming Conference, who are making up their own rules and succeeding to make a good living, providing food which gives health to the consumer and the environment at a fair price. Here's me saying a bit about food for the Secret Seed Society, a project Mum (Shena Cooper) and I set up with some friends to introduce young families to the pleasures of growing, cooking and eating vegetables: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nUPqnsp8T4


Tessa Tricks Wed 4 Apr 2018

Welcome @amyj @shenacooper ,@nicolahughes @kristen @annaohrling & @cliffcooper Great to hear what's drawn you to the group.


Helen Wright Fri 6 Apr 2018

Hello, I am Helen. My background is in food retail. I worked for several years for True Food Co-op in Reading and am still a member. This is a community run food co-op, we did sell John Letts flour, I even collected a van load from his house once - real local food! I have studied food policy and it is easy to say what farmers should be doing so I am looking forward to learning more about the realities and difficult decisions and trade offs - already learning a lot.


Janaki Sun 8 Apr 2018

Hi everyone. I'm Janaki, an artist who has done community-based, social practice work for a number of years, with outcomes like installations, parades, interactive gallery shows, and puppet performances. I am now retraining in London at Imperial College and the Royal College of Art so as to incorporate technology and design methodology into how to address problems that our society finds difficult, such as climate volatility, sustainable manufacture, decision making for complex systems, and similarly thorny topics. Urban farming and biomimicry are attractive and important issues that are increasingly relevant in the design context, and I am here for a different way of teaching myself about these critical topics. Thank you for having me in this lovely, dirty, collaborative plot of the world!