The Oxford Real Farming Conference

Permaculture magazine
Friday, 18th December 2015

The Oxford Real Farming Conference on January 6-7th 2016 will explore the future of farming. Sessions from leading practitioners will include urban and community farming, soil health, regenerative agriculture, pesticides and much more.

In its 7th year, the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC), January 6-7th 2016, will return to Oxford, offering cutting edge agriculture.

Over 650 people will be attending, including many innovative farmers, to discuss the newest ideas in farming and food, an increasingly important topic.

The various topics will explore ideas that are truly intended to ensure that everyone in the world has plenty of good food, and has control over their own food supply, and that the biosphere as a whole, our fellow species and their habitats, is kept in good heart.

Over the two days, the ORFC will be exploring:

- Agroforestry

- Soil health

- Food sovereignty

- Urban and community agriculture

- Food and farming in health

- Pesticides

- Funding

And so much more. Visit for the full programme.

Rebecca Hosking from Village Farm and regular contributor to Permaculture magazine, will be speaking on 7th January, 11-12, alongside George Monbiot and Colin Tudge. They will be looking at the importance of wildlife on farms.

There will be also be sessions on wildlife on farms; the new College of Real Farming and Food Culture – intended to keep the ORFC think-tank bubbling through the year; migrant farm workers – and their possible role in forming the next generation of farmers; a series of sessions looking at how new farmers can access land; an agro-forestry workshop – showing how farmers can add trees to their farms; and sessions on soil health, the dairy crisis, and agricultural science, amongst many, many others.

Farming Techniques

There are currently two worldwide views on farming: Enlightened Agriculture (i.e. Real Farming, which is what ORFC follow); and 'Farming is just a business like any other', often callled neoliberal-industrial, considered to be conventional farming.

Those with the view of Real Farming acknowledge that the world already produces enough food to feed the world (even enough to feed 14 million), and that the focus should be on quality, production (making it people and wildlife friendly) and growing food where it is most needed.

If Britain and the world are to embrace Enlightened Agriculture we need to re-think everything from first principles: what we are really trying to achieve; the husbandry; cooking, baking, brewing, and all the rest; the economy; governance; the law; and the underlying Zeitgeist – in particular the kind of science we really need, and who should control it, and the guiding moral principles.

The ORFC is designed to explore all these ideas – with farmers, scientists, engineers, economists, moralists, and everyone who can see that the world is not as it could and should be and wants to see change.

For more information on this conference visit