Welcome to Farmerama, episode 31! This month, we hear from herb growers and suppliers about the opportunities to grow herbs in the UK. We have the first of a series of reports from Jubilee Farm in Northern Ireland, offering a Christian perspective on agriculture and the environment. We take a visit to Humble by Nature, a tenant farm in the Wye Valley run by TV presenter Kate Humble. Finally, we hear from an artisan producer in Italy about how they make pasta.

One of the most exciting panels at this year’s Oxford Real Farming Conference was all about growing and selling herbs in the UK. We learned that there’s real demand for good quality UK grown herbs, and that more growers are finding ways to produce herbs commercially here on a relatively small scale. We caught up with a few of the panelists: herb producer and medical herbalist, Helen Kearney; Managing Director of The Organic Herb Trading Company, Jim Twine; and Alice Bettany who runs a CSA herbal box scheme (you can hear her on a ‘Shorts’ over on our soundcloud page).

Jonny Hanson is an environmentalist who’s involved in setting up Northern Ireland’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme at Jubilee Farm, he tells us a bit about what they are building and what Christianity has to do with it all.

We meet Andrea Cavaliari, whose family have been producing pasta in Italy for generations by what he calls the ‘delicate method’. Finally we hear from Beca Beeby who setup and runs the aquaponics project at Humble by Nature. She is very clear that aquaponics is a brilliant addition to a mixed farm, but definitely not a substitute when it comes to growing food.

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