BY NICK PEARCE
Providing a seasonal tour of a traditional farming year, passionate beef farmer Joe Stanley seeks to bridge this knowledge gap and inform the reader about the journey their food takes before it gets to the plate, revealing the realities of modern agricultural life for a British lowland farmer.
Drawing on a lifetime of experience, he strips observations of the countryside and agricultural practices down to the core of his day-to-day, illustrating how our food is produced and why our farmed landscape looks the way it does. Along the way, he offers insight into his daily routine, such as how crops are planted, why livestock is brought in for winter, and what happens at harvest, while addressing the bigger issues surrounding food standards, sustainability, the environment, rural heritage, trade and the future of agricultural policy outside the EU.
Often undermined as an antiquated pastime, agriculture is actually the core of a £122bn food and farming sector (the UK’s largest manufacturing industry), and Farm to Fork stands as a testament to British agriculture and the heart that goes into the food our farmers produce, the environmental stewardship they deliver and the landscape they maintain, whether through the assurance of food quality, animal welfare or environmental sustainability.
This is a wonderfully-detailed and candid account of the life of a British farmer ― of the highs and lows and lessons learned from a lifetime on the land.
This is the story of your food’ says Joe Stanley as he ends the introduction to this guided tour through a farming year. Offering a ‘warts and all’ introduction to farming and where our food comes from, Farm to Fork offers something for everyone, no matter their background.
From an explanation of crop rotation, right through to food standards, soil chemistry and beef production, Joe lays out the realities of British farming and his vision for the future. Packed with facts and figures, the book gives an insight into the hundreds of decisions affecting what ends up on our plate, how farming life has changed and how it might look in years to come.
It makes me think something new every time I sat at the dining table – who could ask for more?
Farm to Fork is published by Quiller and is available to buy here.