Quality research on market gardening, small farms and islands
It is possible to walk from the Butt of Lewis to Vatersay largely off road and using long forgotten routes. The Outer Hebrides The Timeless Way describes a walk from the Butt of Lewis to Vatersay, the isles’ most southerly inhabited island. It crosses moors and mountains, beaches and rivers, passes working crofts, weavers’ cottages and fisherman’s wharves, uses ancient tracks and ways, and is guided by historic navigational aids. The timeless way visits historic villages, ancient chapels and castles, thatched hostels and beehive houses. Here is the ultimate Outer Hebrides walking holiday.
Seven magical walks from the hostel at Rhenigidale, Isle of Harris. An authorative, well researched guide but also a work of art. Lavishly illustrated with the author's own pen & ink drawings, the text is a facisimile of the author's own artistic handwriting. First published in 2001 but still as valid today. £3.00 donation to the Gatliff Hebridean Hebridean Hostels Trust, plus postage. ISBN 978-0-9539444-0-8
There is talk about the creation of a new Land Settlement Association (LSA) but it is yet to be seen whether the idea can become a fully formed credible proposal. The LSA appears to have been chosen as the inspiration because it was a 'co-operative' scheme for supporting individual smallholders.
This paper describes the LSA’s original thinking on its co-operative ideals and analyses them in the light of events which prevented their implementation in the form originally intended.
East Bedfordshire's arcadia: history of prophecy? Market gardening yesterday or tomorrow. 1969 - 2009
Forty years ago Bedfordshire was famous for its market gardening. Bedfordshire onions and brussel sprouts were the best in the country. In 1969 I carried out a land use survey in East Bedfordshire. (I lived in Sandy Road, Potton at the time.) In 2009, to the day, I repeated the survey. Traditional market gardening, with its characteristic pattern of strip cultivation, had disappeared. Pasture, largely used by horses, woodland, mineral working and waste were the big gainers. A few arable farmers have survived but the cultivation of vegetables at field scale is now an activity undertaken by growers who specialise in a single crop e.g. onions or potatoes. These growers work over very large acreages, with fields scattered over many counties.