Biodynamic Farmer Writes Self-Help Book About Sustainable Farming

Praise has been given to a “tool kit” book written by a biodynamic farmer, Marina Brown-O’Connell, who has turned “a miserable piece of land” into a thriving farm.

Since moving into Huxhams Cross Farm in Dartington five years ago, Marina has transformed bare land into a fertile, biodiverse, carbon neutral and resilient farm, growing local and sustainable foods, including fruit , vegetables, wheat and eggs as well as cut flowers.

Marina also runs the farm’s pioneering Apricot Center, which aims to ensure and support the mental well-being of families and children who visit the farm for therapeutic, educational or recreational purposes.

In her book “Designing Regenerative Food Systems – and why we need them now”, Marina weaves inspiring stories of redesign and transformation, showing how regenerative methods for agriculture and food have come to life.

Described as a useful and unique toolkit of six resilient food production systems – agroecology, organic, biodynamic, agroforestry, regenerative and permaculture – the book shows how healthy soil can capture carbon and produce good food.

The book, which is aimed at farmers, gardeners, students, smallholders and teachers of agriculture, has received numerous endorsements, including one from Totnes-based Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition movement.

Rob said: “It is hard to underestimate the profound importance of the urgent and ambitious reinvention of food and agricultural systems, how we might do this in regenerative, restorative and transformative ways.

“How do we create farms and gardens that strengthen soil, community and possibility?

“This book is your opportunity to learn from a master.

“What Marina O’Connell has created at the Apricot Center is nothing short of miraculous.

“In these precious pages, she shares everything you need to know to do the same.

“May this book trigger a revolution in the agricultural and horticultural imagination.”

Colin Tudge, co-founder of the Oxford Real Farming Conference, also endorsed the book saying, “This excellent regenerative farming design toolkit is exactly what we need for the coming agro-ecological revolution.” .

In her book, Marina uses her own farm as a case study to show how dead soil has been transformed into thriving and fertile land; and identifies the four challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change, offsetting biodiversity loss, and producing enough quality food.

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