organic farming in the fog

Posted by carlotta on Tuesday January 28th, 2014 at 12:21pm

My twelfth and final portrait for the Market Year project was to be of Collette Haynes, owner of Ashurst Organic Vegetable Farm in Plumpton. I was due to meet her at midday but I woke to a thick blanket of fog covering the landscape and I rushed to seize the opportunity for some atmospheric shots.

I had been to photograph Ashurst Organics two years ago as part of my local food project. That visit was late in the autumn when there had been a surprisingly colourful harvest of beetroot, red cabbages and cavolo nero. Today’s crop was mainly swede, actually quite colourful itself, though everything appeared muted in the fog. As I drove away through the clearing mist, my overriding feeling was one of appreciation for the continuity I had just experienced: the same field, the same people, the same dog even, doing the same work as they had two years ago, and had in fact been doing for the past 20 years.

For me, living in the nearby town, eating my weekly box of muddy organic vegetables grown a few miles away gives me a sense of connection to my surroundings, and to the seasons, that cellophane-wrapped vegetables from the supermarket will never give me.

I know there is scant financial reward for the hard work of organic farming. I hope the appreciation of us veg box consumers for that link to our environment, and for knowing that our local landscape is being well looked after, helps make it all worthwhile.

Blog post about my drive home from Ashurst here: through a winter landscape.

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