We intend to be a leading example of a viable, inspiring and deeply sustainable community farm. Our sustainability is guided by two frameworks: permaculture and One Planet Living.
Permaculture and organic principles
You will have heard about organic principles; this is about growing food using techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control, rather than synthetic petrochemical fertilisers and pesticides. We grow with organic principles because we believe it’s healthier for the planet and for people. We are not ‘certified organic’ with the Soil Association. This is for a variety of reasons such as our scale and the costs associated with it. However, we are supportive of the certification and may go down this route in the future.
We also embed permaculture principles deep into our organisation. Permaculture is a conscious design science that’s about working with nature to make a better world for all. Using permaculture helps us to understand our connections, to each other and the world around us, so we can create integrated, productive spaces that have multiple uses.
It encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology, but also economic systems and land access strategies for businesses and communities.
There are three guiding ethics promoted in permaculture. We use these ethics and other permaculture principles to help guide our work as a farm:
- Care for the planet
- Care for people
One Planet Living
One Planet Living is a positive vision of a world in which we are living happy, healthy lives, within the natural limits of the planet – and we have left sufficient space for wildlife and wilderness.
The One Planet Living framework was developed by BioRegional – an entrepreneurial environmental charity that were responsible for establishing our farm. It uses 10 principles that offer a simple way to plan, deliver, communicate and mainstream sustainable development and the green economy. The framework is now used all over the world by pioneering organisations and regions.
The foundations behind the One Planet Living concept is ecological footprinting – a measure of the Earth’s productive capacity against the resources we consume. Ecological footprinting shows us that if everyone in the world consumed as many natural resources as the average person in western Europe, we’d need three planets to support us. Of course, we just have one planet – hence our goal of One Planet Living. To find out more about this science, visit the Global Footprint Network.
Our Commitment to One Planet Living
At Sutton Community Farm we hold a shared vision of One Planet Living and commit to using the framework to help us – we even have it written into our organisation’s articles of association. We are delighted that Sutton Council share this vision and have committed to work on enabling One Planet Living across the borough.