In 2010 a research team at Leeds University under Professor Tim Benton proclaimed that organic farming methods were not viable, and that conventional farming practices produce twice the amount of food as that grown using organic methods on the same size piece of land.
I knew immediately that this research was flawed as I regularly grow more produce in terms of amount and diversity than what I have observed when I have walked through different types of field crops on conventional farms. The most compelling evidence that the Leeds research team got it wrong is Primrose organics, which is based at a tiny one and a half acre plot in the Black Mountains in Wales. Dr Paul Benham the owner of Primrose Organics uses sustainable techniques that he refers to as ‘high biodiversity low carbon polyculture. Dr Benham grows £25,000 worth of organic produce every year on his one and a half acres of land.
No UK farmer using conventional means could generate the abundance of food that Dr Benham grows using his low impact sustainable growing methods. And most importantly Benhams system has the ability to survive peak oil, where as conventional agriculture would cease to exist entirely on every level, from farm to plate.