What will we do when the oil runs out? has become an all too common refrain.
Few people though have addressed the question in such practical terms as organic grower Iain Tolhurst. Even on his eight hectare unit on the Hardwick Estate just outside Reading, Iain reckons he is “precariously vulnerable” to the looming fuel crisis. Horses may prove his only salvation.
So how does Iain think a horse-powered operation look?
We would need to reduce significantly the cropping area as the horse would need cereal feed to maintain its condition. Around 15% of our land would cover one animal, but as we would often need two horses for key operations and deliveries so would probably need to set aside 25-30% of our land. Production would therefore drop dramatically.