A Real Farm Festival!
Real Farm Festival is a farming and music festival that shows people what ecological farming really is, served up with all the fun of a summer solstice festival. There’s hands-on farming projects and workshops lead by farmers and expert artisans, musical magic conjured up in the fields and woodlands with wandering minstrels and an eclectic main stage line up, and conversations with inspiring speakers on the philosophy of land with festival goers invited to ask lots of questions.
Real Farm festival addresses local and global issues in a way that has not been done before, taking the soul of the city to the heart of the countryside, uniting thinkers and doers on creative, intellectual and practical plains. We welcome farmers, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, builders, ecologists, economists, gardeners, politicians, philosophers, students, children, grandparents and all curious folk to connect with the land, get muddy, share some ideas and enjoy long summer evenings by the fire with music, dancing, performances and games.
Farming workshops – In the Fields
Over the weekend, we’ll be building an edible food hall of food with fruit trees, herbs, berries, willow and other living things and learning how to use companion planting and native species as natural defences against pests and disease.
Another weekend long project is our attempt to weave the largest ever peg loomed blanket out of sheep's wool. Everyone will get the chance to learn the ancient skill of peg loom weaving and make a luxury picnic blanket for Sunday's tea party. We want to draw attention to the sheep’s wool that is wasted every year:
“I was a city girl that moved to Church Farm 6 months ago. When I found out about sheep’s wool being worthless, I couldn’t believe it! All this warm luxury fabric is being thrown away, or bred out of would-be winter hardy species to create ‘Easy Care’ sheep. Its economics gone baaa’d! The record attempt highlights opportunities for green community enterprises and captures the madness of the current farming system”
Farming workshops include ‘How to keep a pig’, ‘How to keep a chicken’, and ‘Wild cultures’ introduces people to the lost art of food fermentation, and there are more workshops to be announced that re-engage people with farming and where their food comes from.
For the Saturday, a series of conversations is being devised by Campaign for Real Farming, co-organisers of the Oxford Real Farming Conference, in partnership with Self Knowledge Global Responsibility.
The talks will explore the West’s relationship with the land and envision what a new farming system might look like based on sound biology and ethics. Details of the panellists will be announced soon.
To keep us entertained, there’ll be dancing stories from troubadour Rory McLeod, wild landscapes from virtuoso pianist Jack Pescod, gentle Caledonian soul from Blue Rose Code, uplifting Jamaican roots music from Skillosphi, the beautiful voice of Lucy Kitt, fun-loving ska-folk from Jackson and the Kingkickers, Tesco songs from Bigroundboat, and the quirky singer-songwriter-ing of Robin Grey. Aside from what the musical line-up has to offer, there’s performance poets, yoga, singing workshops, circus performances and the Pig Olympics from our games masters.
Midsummer night is traditionally a time when fertility and life is celebrated around Europe; Real Farm Festival does that, throwing in some fertile ideas and philosophy for good measure. The surroundings play an integral part of the weekend and it’s an escape from the city where you truly taste a different life, one that is slowly seeping back into the fabric of everyone’s lives - farm life!