If the 18th-century utopian social reformer Robert Owen – factory magnate and one of the founders of the cooperative movement – were reborn today, Sheepdrove Organic Farm is just the sort of place I imagine he might set up. The estate is owned by Peter Kindersley, the millionaire philanthropist who made his fortune from the publishing company Dorling Kindersley, and he now runs it as a model farm and ecocentre. Here Kindersley has applied his mix of entrepreneurial spirit and reforming zeal to creating a food system that aims to be carbon neutral, recycles its water and promotes rural employment. More than 80 people work here, compared with just one or two on a neighbouring farm of similar size.
Just a thought (and yes, of course I\’m being terribly unfair with the numbers here) but given that 1-2% of the population is currently involved in farming, does organic farming mean that 80% of us will have to return to the idiocy of rural life?