Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme – Field Labs : Soil Association


About the programme

The programme involves farmers across the country in developing innovative techniques and best practice, aimed at improving productivity, quality and environmental performance in organic and low-input agriculture. We want to showcase a practical approach to R&D that inspires larger research funders to take an ecological approach and give farmers a real say. More about the programme...

Field labs

At the heart of the programme are field labs - events where farmers and growers test new approaches, share existing best practice and sharpen their problem-solving skills. The field labs are open to all - organic or otherwise - and happen on-farm. More about our current field labs...

Research fund

Research needs to tackle the real problems faced by farmers as they grapple with improving their productivity while protecting the environment. Last year we launched a new research fund where farmers and growers set the priorities. Please note, the second call of our research fund is now closed. More about the research fund...

Student essay competition

We want to hear your ideas on innovation and sustainability, so we asked HRH The Prince of Wales to set a challenging essay title on these themes. The prize is an amazing four-month work placement with Duchy Home Farm, Waitrose, and the Soil Association. The competition is open to all students undertaking a full or part-time agricultural course or taking an apprenticeship in agriculture. More about the essay competition...

Latest blog

Field lab: 2013 seed trials overview

Kate Collyns: It's official: seeds can be sexy, ok? As well as their various shapes, colours and textures, it's what they represent in terms of actual food and produce that catches the interest; not to mention what seeds represent when it comes to food sovereignty - owning the ability to reproduce food, not just the food itself. I took part in the Duchy Originals Field Lab seed trials in 2013 because I always like trying out new varieties; but also because it's becoming increasingly clear that specially bred hybrid seeds are becoming more unaffordable for smaller growers (although buying groups can help) and seed can't be saved from the resultant crop; while cheaper open-pollinated seeds may not be as well maintained as they should because there is no money in it.

19 February 2014 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 0

Latest field report

Building soil organic matter

16 April 2014

Report on the first field lab meeting on improving soil organic matter levels on arable and vegetable growing farms using green manures. Building soil organic matter
Farm Walk: Commonwork Organic Farm, Kent
29 April

Commonwork Organic Farm, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent

Field Lab: Practical Options for Reducing On-Farm Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
06 May

Colleymore Farm, Coleshill, Swindon, SN6 7PU , United Kingdom

Contact us

Please contact us on or call 0117 914 2400 if you have a query about the programme.

Supported by...

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Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation