We’re very happy to bring elements of the Beer & Berries programme online so you can attend the Spirited Talks or watch the film ‘Foreign Pickers’ from home. Beer & Berries is happening at Hospitalfield on Saturday 12 September. More info and how to attend.
2pm: Past to Present – Exploring the Shifting Demands of Farm Labour [click play on the video below at 2pm]
In response to some of the recent challenges facing local producers, from a shortage of seasonal farm workers to a loss of the restaurant market, FEAST Journal has developed two talks panels exploring questions of labour and alternative models of production. Panel participants will introduce a range of perspectives on commercial growing in an effort to present pathways for a more sustainable future.
From the soft fruit industry’s reliance on Scottish school children picking fruit in the summer holidays to a contemporary migrant workforce the discussion will explore the practicalities and cultures of fruit picking and the future of the seasonal agricultural labour.
- Rowan Marshall of Peter Marshall Farms: Located near Alyth, Marshall use industry leading fruit farming methods coupled with cutting-edge technology to grow, manage and supply a range of high quality fresh fruits and produce. Marshall grows raspberries and blueberries as well as strawberries and cherries, supplying to leading high-street supermarket chains and food suppliers throughout the United Kingdom.
- Heidi Saxby of the Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University: Saxby’s recent PhD thesis entitled ‘I am not a number’ is a study on seasonal agricultural workers in labour-intensive production of fruit and vegetables in Yorkshire, England.
- Facilitated by Kim Cameron of The Gin Bothy
3.30pm: Forward Thinking – Alternative Economies of Production [click play on the video below at 2pm]
The panel will explore regenerative and sustainable models of growing including the Community Supported Agriculture initiatives and locally focused distribution networks that are emerging as viable alternatives to established economies of industrial farming.
- Jillian McEwan, Lunan Bay Farm: Lunan Bay Farm (formerly Myreside Farms Produce) are producers of sustainable ingredients, grown on our beachside farm in Scotland, for chefs and food lovers alike. Lunan Bay Farm ethically produces free range goat meat, asparagus and honeyberries, and have other niche products with provenance in the pipeline. The farm is based at picturesque Lunan Bay in Angus where three miles of unspoilt beaches meet the surrounding lush countryside.
- Connie and Tom, East Neuk Market Garden: East Neuk Market Garden is a 2 acre, small-scale, agroecological farm growing over 50 varieties of vegetables, salads, herbs and fruit in the East Neuk of Fife. Connie and Tom grow as wide a variety of vegetables, salad, herbs and fruit as possible following agroecological principles. They grow on a human-scale without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilisers and follow methods that enrich and regenerate biodiversity and soil fertility. East Neuk Market Garden currently run a 40 member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We believe everyone should have access to local, sustainably produced food that enhances the wider ecosystem rather than degrades it.
- Facilitated by Kirsty Black, Arbikie Highland Estate
11am-6pm: ‘Foreign Pickers’ a film by Myvillages and Company Drinks
The film by Myvillages and Company Drinks offers an insight into the culture and economics of ‘going picking’, bringing together former hop pickers ‘who went down to Kent’ from East London and today’s pickers who come there and are both key to British agricultural success. They share the experience of being so-called foreigners in the Kent countryside: East Londoners and current ‘foreigners’, often EU citizens from eastern Europe. Both groups of pickers are and have been essential to British agriculture, providing the en masse low-cost manual labour necessary to pick certain crops and fruits. Furthermore, both have developed their own cultures around being seasonal and casual workers on low income, from adapting mobile or low-spec accommodation, securing cheap travel, inventing free spare time activities, to socializing away from home. The film will be screed in the Paddock area at Beer & Berries playing on a loop throughout the event.
Myvillages was founded by artists Kathrin Böhm (UK/DE), Wapke Feenstra (NL) and Antje Schiffers (DE) in 2003, to advocate for a new understanding of the rural as a place of and for cultural production.Commissioned by Delfina Foundation Politics of Food Programme
02 Going Picking, Company Drinks annual Hop Picking trip to Kent, Photo: Elena Heatherwick