Growing the staples

Event Date : August 25, 2021

Event Time : 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Join the OGA in this webinar exploring field-scale production. How can we grow the basic crops efficiently yet regeneratively?

About this event

While many new entrants are being drawn into growing vegetables on a small, market garden scale, it is becoming evident that there is a shortage of field-scale growers. This webinar seeks to debunk the myths of field-scale production and show how it can be done regeneratively and agroecologically without huge investments. We’ll look at rotation, technical issues of production, and machinery to support you in producing the staple crops economically. We will also discuss the skills required and how to acquire them.


Rita Oldenbourg of Glebe Farm, Pitney in Somerset will talk about how, as a new entrant, she got tractor experience, how and why they grow staples at their market garden, and about how they are using machinery but still always keeping soil health in mind.

Iain Tolhurst (Tolly) of Tolhurst Organic has been growing organically since 1976 and is one of the country’s most highly respected organic growers and advisers. He grows 17 acres of field vegetables in addition to a 2 acre walled garden, supplying their own box scheme, farmers markets and veg shed. Tolly will outline basic machinery requirements, rotations and fertility building needed for growing the staples.

Adam York grows organically on 8 acres at Glebelands Market Garden near Cardigan in West Wales after it’s earlier incarnation in South Manchester. They started off growing specific crops for Unicorn Grocery while the current Glebelands is testing a farmshop model of direct selling to the public in a market town catchment. Adam will talk on the challenges of setting up field scale production from scratch and making the most of your resources.


The webinar programme focuses on practical teaching and farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchanges from farmers and growers from around the UK. The series is designed to increase knowledge exchange and learning on both the politics and practice of agroecology, seed sovereignty and food sovereignty.

If you would like to be involved in running a webinar, a theme or practice you would would like to know more about, or have a specific topic you would like to present on please get in touch with us at


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