There’s probably a reason you’re on the Earth Cycle website, and it’s most likely to do with sourcing or purchasing fresh compost, topsoil or mulch for your garden. You’re probably in need of this because your beds and borders need a top-up and refresh – to inject fresh nutrients into the soil to support this year’s veg plans or feed shrubs and plants.
It’s no different for farming and agriculture really. Arable farming – or growing crops - at scale, has a similar impact on the landscape; each growing cycle reduces the volume and nutrient value of the soil. That capacity needs replacing; worryingly there may be as few as 60 harvests left in areas that are intensively farmed.
In years gone by soil regeneration was managed by growing green fertiliser and ploughing it back into the soil, or leaving fields fallow for a season or two. But it’s been confirmed that this alone is not enough and so, like your beds and borders, the soil needs refreshing with fresh organic matter. The process is referred to as regenerative agriculture, and it’s a key theme of the Earth Day movement.
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day falls on 22nd April every year, originating in 1970 in the US when a Senator wanted to ensure that environment and environmental protection was on the national and international agenda. Today, Earth Day brings together more than one billion people in almost 200 countries, who take part in a series of events around the world.
There are various facets of the Earth Day movement concerned with all aspects of environmental protection including plastics reduction, climate change, climate literacy, food, environment, conservation and restoration.
Whilst the name suggests it is focussed on a single date and event, the Earth Day movement is actually a major international force for change all year round and in nearly every country of the world.
Why does Earth Day matter to us at Earth Cycle?
Earth Day matters to us because we care for our environment and, as a business, we’ve structured our operations to minimise our impact on the planet.
Our products are produced in West Sussex by The Woodhorn Group, a diverse business primarily built on farming and agriculture. John Pitts is the Group’s owner and is the 4th generation of his family to run Woodhorn Farm.
As a mixed farming based business, we are all too aware of the environment. We farm and graze the plains between the South Downs and the Sussex coast, so we understand the impacts of climate change both on land and in the sea. In fact, the land that we farm was, once, under the sea and the mixed soils consist of ice age marine deposits that go back at least 500,000 years.
We absolutely understand that draining the land of its nutrients is a one-way path, and so in 1998 John led Woodhorn Farm through conversion to a fully organic operation. The business also diversified and one of our biggest operations involves green waste management – taking green waste from local bin collections and composting it down into a range of high-quality topsoil, mulches and composts. As well as selling this under the Earth Cycle brand, we also sell thousands of tonnes each year to those looking to improve soil in other areas: community landscapes and amenity spaces, new housing developments and sports pitches.
Needless to say, our farm also enjoys having a ready source of organic matter, on top of that produced by our lovely organic dairy herd, to help us with our own soil regeneration.
As a business, we work closely with national organisations and local schools to improve environmental literacy, and we’re just starting work on a new waste recycling project that will see plastic being extracted from growing materials and reused in the production of building materials to improve their thermal qualities.
On a day-to-day basis, we also work hard across our farming operations to help conserve and restore our own local environment so, like John, future generations of the Pitts family can work on and enjoy the Woodhorn Farm for years to come.
Our own ethos and values are closely aligned to the Earth Day movement and we like to think that in some small way, we’re doing our bit to restore and protect the environment whilst helping you to enjoy your piece of this great planet.