Sunday, 24 May 2009

Our First Farm Open Day

Sharing information is one of the most important aspects of the work we do at Hotel Posada del Valle. We have a long-term objective of trying to show that diverse cropping systems and organic farming are a sustainable and viable alternative to industrial monocropping

Talking about the narrow bed production system and crop rotation in the vegetable garden.

To this end we planned 2 farm open days for 2009 and held our first yesterday morning with just over 20 people attending. The majority of the people who attended were from eastern Asturias.

Discussing polycropping in the apple orchard

We walked around the farm and looked at the apple orchards, the sheep, horses and chickens and talked about mixed grazing. Next we visited the vegetable garden and finally the meadows where we discussed the advantages for growers and farmers of encouraging biodiversity. There was also plenty of opportunity for participants to share ideas and information. The walk lasted about 2 hours and was followed by a lovely informal light lunch prepared by Joe.

Looking at compost making (and trying to ignore the dog)

For us this was also a learning process, (not only hearing from other people about their own experiences,) but how to organise such events, question who is interested in these issues and how can we encourage people to reflect on them. From the feedback we got people had an enjoyable day, and I am sure we shall carry on organising similar events.

Discussing the benefits of biodivesity in one of the wild flower meadows.

The farm is always open for hotel guests and there is the marked farm trail with informative “panels”, and its particularly attractive at this time of year with the wild flower meadows vibrant with colour.

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.