Farming for the future, locally and sustainably
Natalie's first degree was in agricultural science, and she has a particular interest in ensuring our future food security by moving away from the industrial agriculture that's caused major environmental damage towards systems that are stable and sustainable.
After taking part in the COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh (to which she travelled by train), Natalie wrote about the need for future farming to be based on the principles of agroecology, working with nature rather than trying to treat it like a machine, for the Ecologist.
As a 'co-benefit' in the language of COP, we'd also get many thousands of small independent businesses, huge numbers of good jobs - and far better tasting food available to more people, without the choking hold of the supermarkets over supplies.
Research here in Sheffield found there is only 100 harvests left in British soils under our current systems, with allotment gardeners doing a far better job of maintaining the healthy soils that are the critical foundation of our food supplies.
We've got the brilliant Sheffield Organics, but we need local food-growing on a mass scale to ensure our food security and also provide good jobs and business opportunities.