Patrick Holden is founding director of the Sustainable Food Trust whose mission is to promote international cooperation between all those involved in sustainable food production. Previously he was director of the Soil Association. He studied biodynamic agriculture and started a community dairy farm in West Wales in 1973. It is now the longest established organic dairy farm in Wales, with a herd of 75 Ayrshire cows – the milk from which is made into an award winning cheddar-style cheese by his son. He received a CBE for services to organic farming in 2005. Other positions include Patron of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association.
Alexandra Toland is a visual artist and environmental planner at the Technische Universität Berlin, Dept. of Soil Protection. She is the co-chair of the German Soil Science Society’s Commission on Soils in Society and Education and curator of the interdisciplinary exhibition, Dirt Dialogues, at the World Congress of Soil Science. In addition to making and researching art connected to soil protection issues, she is an enthusiastic worm composter, beekeeper, and amateur forester.
Stephan Harding: Author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia, (Green Books). Resident Ecologist and Head of the MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College, Dartington. Joint holder, with James Lovelock, of the Arne Næss Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo, Norway.
Barbara Geiger has dedicated her professional life as an actress to Frollein Brehm’s Life of Animals. Together with Stephan Lux she launched the Foundation Frollein Brehm’s Life of Animals in 2011. The repertoire of her science theatre includes mammals like wolves, bears and lynx. In 2013 she brought the King of Edaphon, Lumbricus terrestris on stage, followed in 2014 by Hymenoptera – The wild bees. She functions both as inventress of the Frollein vision as well as working with more than eight actresses to become Frolleins in their own right. Frollein Brehm’s Life of Animals is currently being translated into Italian and French.
Dr Hildegard Kurt is a cultural researcher, author and social sculpture practitioner based in Germany. Her work focuses on art, culture and sustainability, aesthetic education, social sculpture and intercultural dialogue. She teaches and lectures internationally and has initiated several cultural and art projects. In 2004 she co-founded “und.Institute for Art, Culture and Sustainability” in Berlin. From 2012 to 2013 she also worked as Senior Lecturer in Social Sculpture at Oxford Brookes University.
Chris Jones farms at Woodland Valley near Ladock in Mid Cornwall, where he farms livestock and children. While the farm has been ‘home’ since 1960 he has also worked in Zimbabwe in the 70s-80’s, in forestry in SW UK 1987-1990, and also in drilling for oil and gas. Besides the farm he is active in the Transition movement, is chair of a renewable energy coop, and is a founder member of the Pasture Fed Livestock Association. He is aided and abetted by his wife Janet and three children.
Nicky Scott is the coordinator of the Devon Community Composting Project, a Founder director of Proper Job, community business in Chagford and joint chair of Growing Devon Schools Partnership. He has written four books published by Green Books on composting and recycling and has contributed to the Community compost Guide, (pub CCN) the Compost Curriculum and a booklet on food waste composting in school, also two films on composting as well as an animation. Always interested in trying to communicate and network, particularly in schools and with community groups to show how composting is a vital part of the food cycle, nourishing and revitalising the soil.
Touchstone Collaborations, an Arts, Research and Design practice, is dedicated to evolving ecologies of relationship inspired by the living cycles of soil, food and water. Co-founders Miche and Flora choreograph convivial hearths and food rituals to enliven the senses and the sacred in the everyday. These ‘Tables of Transformation’ and ‘Listening Places’ draw on the gold of imagination, inspiring conversations and embodying living forms of thinking. Artist-cuisiniere Miche Fabre Lewin is embarking on her doctoral thesis ‘ThinkingFood’ with Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. Flora Gathorne-Hardy, geographer and plantswoman has a PhD, ‘Just Design’ in social geography and urban planning.
After graduating in agriculture at Bangor, Graham Harvey joined Farmers Weekly. He has since written on rural matters for a wide range of publications. For three years he wrote the Old Muckspreader column in Private Eye. In the mid-1980s he joined the script-writing team of the long-running radio series The Archers, and has since written more than 600 episodes. He is currently the programme’s farming editor, responsible for developing the farming and rural storylines. His first book, The Killing of the Countryside, won the BP Natural World Book Prize. His latest book is The Carbon Fields.
Gerard Woodward is a novelist, poet and short story writer best known for his trilogy of novels concerning the troubled Jones family, the second of which, I’ll Go To Bed at Noon was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2004. He has also been shorltisted for the Whitbread (now Costa) Award and twice, as a poet, for the T.S.Eliot Prize. He studied painting at Falmouth School of Art and Social Anthropology at the LSE. He is currently Professor of Fiction at Bath Spa University. His fifth novel, published in March this year, is called Vanishing.
Richard Kerridge: Nature writer and literary critic. Author of forthcoming: Cold Blood: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians, Chatto & Windus, Course Director of the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Chair, ASLE-UK, 1999-2004.
Yuli Sømme: A member of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Yuli trained and worked as a weaver in the 1980s as well as working as a researcher at Coldharbour Mill Working Wool Museum. At the end of that decade she switched to felt making. She made her first felt shroud in 1999, in response to an exhibition entitled “Treading Lightly” – illustrating how makers can work in a sustainable way within their craft discipline. She recently received the ‘Coffin Supplier of the Year’ award from the Good Funeral Guide.