Mother Earth volume 1
To understand the present we need to learn more about our past. Although many people were involved in the Soil Association’s creation and early development, Lady Eve Balfour’s contribution – as its founder and de-facto leader for many years – was highly significant. In tribute to Lady Eve’s founding vision, we begin with her article that opened the first edition of Mother Earth in 1946, entitled ‘Why It Happened’. Our second piece, written by Soil Association policy director, Peter Melchett was prompted by a question from a senior civil servant about how Britain would look if it farmed organically. To answer the Soil Association commissioned the Centre for Agricultural Strategy of the University of Reading to consider what food we would produce if England and Wales switched entirely to organic farming. The results – the first serious attempt to quantify the impact of wholesale organic conversion in 20 years – make for interesting reading. In our final piece, Dinah Williams recalls meeting Lady Eve in 1952. Historian and editorial panel member, Philip Conford, interviewed Dinah Williams at her home in Wales in 2005 and this article is a fitting tribute to a widely respected farmer and a pioneer of the organic movement.