Project Description

One June morning my wife and I watched from the kitchen window as a juvenile blackbird hopped around the garden. She spotted the only fully ripe strawberry in our garden, one we had been anticipating harvesting for ourselves. After a few tentative, exploratory pecks (presumably it was her first strawberry), she devoured the entire thing with enthusiastic gusto. There was a moment, just as the blackbird scrutinized the fruit but before she decided to eat it, when we could have opened the back door to frighten her away. It was a moment of ambivalence that is fundamental to discussions around food production and the environment. Because a blackbird that eats strawberries also eats snails, and a human that eats strawberries also eats salad.

These photos are part of a major project depicting an alternative countryside, one that eschews monoculture and factory farming in favour of sustainable agricultural production. I’m grateful to the people who live and work within these landscapes for their hospitality, and their kindness in allowing me access to these places that they inhabit:

The Landmatters Co-op permaculture project, Devon.

Tablehurst Biodynamic Farm, East Sussex.

The Sustainability Centre, Hampshire.

The Agroforestry Research Trust, Devon.

Tolhurst Organic Farm, Berkshire.