Planning Update Cynllunio 17.12.19

Our Applications(A190344+6) were submitted in May and we have been told they will now be sent to Planning Committee,in January or February for other County Councillors to decide upon(TBC).Our ward Councillor C.Miles declined to support the applications in the Autumn and some negotiations have taken place since with the Director overseeing the planning dept. As we cannot viably reduce our tunnel cropping with a hedge or bisect our lower field similarly, our options are ltd.Planting a hedge at the boundary wall,as per our applications,seems a v.strong case.
Letters to the Tivyside are now appropriate.As this is now our third set of applications involving the view from Dolwen and a hedge in varying forms we are obviously keen to resolve the situation.The cost and timescale have not been helpful.

Planning Update Cynllunio 3.10.19

There is now a completed Officer's Report on our applications.This is now in our(Teifi Ward-Catrin Miles)Councillor's intray. She can allow the Planning Officer to decide the applications or send them to Planning Committee(probably November).We would ask that anyone in Teifi Ward particularly ask Coun.Miles why the applications would need to go to Committee? The timescale,cost and effort remain problematic relative to our farm business.Ditto for Ceredigion CC staff and other Councillors.
Back in the field most field crops doing well and only the Winter tunnel salads still not complete.Tunnel recovering and various site works continue as well as plenty of harvesting activity of some pretty lush crops of late.
A summary of the season might be as follows; Drought dominated Summer(as per 2018)but with a fortnight of intense rain(100mm)in the middle.Continuing fertility/soil improvement,irrigation slog and sowing tweaks achieved some good looking crops.Highlights perhaps;lovely Cherry Toms,ample Basil,hefty Caulis and steady Salad yield.
Sales have been favourable and we have continued to increase paid hours to match,Owen joining us recently.Support from the area has been great particularly for our long running planning challenges.Apologies if we don't always,particularly at peak Summer periods,have much time to talk.
Diolch yn fawr i bawb.

Newyddion Cynllunio/Planning News Update 3.7.19

Cardigan Town Council passes support motions.2 Councillors abstained. Thanks to all the local politicians who have taken the time to find out the background and to support us.Next step Planning Officers draw up Report and consult with Ward County Councillor Catrin Miles.She has discretion whether to follow fellow Cardigan Councillors guidance and whether to allow Officers to pass an application.Ward Councillors can then force an application to go Planning Committee.Electors in the Teifi Ward can ask that their views are represented by their Councillor.Comments emailed to are mounting up and are important at this stage.Letters to The Tivyside Advertiser remain a platform seen by many (Eg non-facebook)people. Diolch yn Fawr i Bawb.

Neges Cynllunio/Planning Update 25.6.19

Part I The Background
We have submitted 2 applications (A190346+A190344) primarily to defend our existing tunnels, and secondly to allow for expansion to cope with growing demand.
Our Planning Statement here:
Our existence as a business was challenged strongly in 2012/3 by a small but influential opposition.
A public and well supported campaign overcame that challenge, enabling us to build 2 polytunnels and our packhouse/shop.
Building our 4th polytunnel in 2016 was accompanied by a late condition to build a 4metre hedge next to it (making the tunnel unusable owing to the hedge blocking the light). We have been contesting this ever since.
We have been an effective job creator in line with earlier projections (10 people onsite currently).
We have spent significant monies (circa£5000) defending perfectly lawful agricultural activity, and the whole business has been hampered post-2012
Being continually threatened while trying to run a complex, intensive crop operation is not a pleasant experience.

Part II-Activity Now
We need emails or letters of support now. Comments can also be registered on the Ceredigion website… emails to;

Grounds for support might be local food production, soil + conservation enhancement, job creation, proximity to population, Welsh Govt policies quoted in our Planning Statement above.
Either we will win this round or an appeal will follow. All to contest a very pleasant view that only 2 people will ever see.
The cost to the public of planning officers' time, Councillors' time (if it goes to Committee) and an appeal, are considerable.
Constituents of Teifi Ward Councillor Catrin Miles can ask her to reverse her previous opposition to our site and support the applications.
On July 2nd our applications go to Cardigan Town Council for scrutiny which we are attending.

Beth yw fwyta yn 2019?/Dietary Choices in 2019

Back from our Italian travels a few thoughts on a UK diet of the future. This year the usual post Xmas excess advice has been dominated by all things vegan; diets, marketing, recipes, even a few wannabe fascists picketing a Greggs! Amidst the defensiveness of animal farmers, commercial opportunists, the climate aware and wider public, where might this interest go? Certainly a largely vegan diet can have lots of benefits for the individual as well as planetary impact but it's perfectly possible to be what used to be called a junk food vegan.This might well mimic traditional foodstuffs heavy on the salt and oil but also be global in outlook, leading to lots of palm oil, carbon impact and less than healthy people. It's not so difficult to imagine Macdonalds type operators moving to a lot more meat analogues and very "loaded" salad with healthy branding but negative global impacts.

Would such impacts be as bad as current fast food behavior? Very unlikely if only because meat and dairy production are so hungry of land and environmental resources, and difficult for populations in developed countries to consume without significant health impacts. The imperative for it mattering either way is of course that climate + resource pressure are so pressing that we're all in trouble, a lot more than an enfeebled UK media is able, generally, to convey. 

So what should we all eat in 2019? Getting the focus back onto a sustainable diet and foodstuffs we can produce in the UK must surely be the aim. Our Italian travels (Turin+Bologna) reinforced our experiences a decade ago in Sicily  +beyond. Namely despite having one of the best food cultures, it is essentially regional and often with less choice than a typical UK supermarket .Italians have been supremely successful at working with what they have on their doorstep to create great flavours, tradition and innovation. You could say being fussy with what's available. By contrast the UK has had around 25 years of massive choice (the killer of innovation?), with well stocked supermarkets, globally sourced. We've eaten everything and have left our Brown Windsor Soup heritage behind. Most of the UK population has however next to zero awareness of seasonality and a strong desire to for example, eat Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Red Peppers all year round. There is always something in season,and with the low tec help of polytunnels, and chilled storage we have almost made the traditional "Hungry Gap" disappear. The challenge is now a cultural one far more than a climatic one.

In climate terms it's probably a lot better to worry less about the label vegan and think about diets based strongly on crops directly consumed ie grown by UK arable farmers and eaten by people.Eg Oats for porridge not feed for cattle. While UK horticulture can already provide enough veg diversity to keep a battery of Sicilians happy, UK arable (grain and bulk crops) has a difficult, conservative past. A tiny organisation, Hodmedods, is leading a revolution in cropping ideas and it's not difficult to see many more opportunities, particularly as UK cooks get better at working with what we've already got. Eg much Falafel across the Mediterranean is made with Field Beans cropped in Norfolk and about, while we have rarely used them back home. Innovating for a sustainable diet returns us to the peasant dilema. Do I sit resenting that Henry VIII's got all the game or do I work out how to make the Broad Beans taste nice? Tudor aspirations have cursed British cuisine for 500 years and might have some fingerprints on the N.American diet disaster too.

We've now got a lot more help with access to flavourings, technology and information which make a nutritious, satisfying and genuinely sustainable diet entirely within our grasp. Trading and moving some foodstuffs globally with low impact is old hat but we do not need any chilled trucks from Spain, Mushrooms from Ireland or Asparagus from Peru. Encouragingly we have some of world's best bread,beer and spirits already despite our "Aldi Super 6" Spanish unseasonal veg fixation. We like eating out and have adventurous cheffing but are hamstrung by thinking cheap equals good value in restaurants. Any more Neo-liberal Government won't help but active cooks and consumers will. (January 2019).

(Mon-Weds horticultural ie growing activities only; deliveries + contractors by arrangement)