Last week we got out onto the farm to meet the first of our Cambridge Food Assembly producers – Tyler Cotton from Dynamic Organics.
As this is the first of our ‘Producer Introductions’, allow me take a second to explain the concept. Basically, the inspiration for us in setting up the Cambridge Food Assembly is a desire to deeply connect to where our food comes from, while at the same time building a community of people who want to do the same. Over the next few months we plan to get out to visit all of our producers and each time we intend to write up a short introduction so that you can meet them as well. We’ve decided to post them on Our Food Future as this website was set up by two of our founders and is very aligned with this project. We hope you enjoy meeting and getting to know our producers as much as we do!
Dynamic Organics is small biodynamic vegetable farm in Barton, less than four miles outside of Cambridge. The farm was set up in 2011 by Tyler Cotton after he returned from three years in New Zealand and Australia.
A graphic designer by trade, Tyler spent time WWOOFing in New Zealand after a positive experience working at the retail end of the fresh organic food chain. But it wasn’t until he reached Australia and began working on a farm that utilised an Australian method of biodynamics that “the lightbulb went off” and he knew that was what he wanted to do.
Biodynamic farming is an approach originally developed by Rudolf Steiner in Germany in the 1920s, but now practiced the world over. Tyler was drawn to this specific method of biodynamics, as developed by Alex Podolinsky, because, in his words, “it is very practical and based firmly on observation and building structure in the soil”.
Whilst I haven’t studied biodynamics or worked on a biodynamic farm myself, my experience has always been that biodynamic produce is amongst the best I have tasted, so it must be doing something right. Meeting Tyler has made me eager to learn more about the subject, something I will explore in more detail through the Our Food Future website in coming months.
Tyler’s story is such an inspiring one for me personally. Instead of spending years studying, working for other people, and generally gathering the courage to make the huge commitment that farming requires, Tyler has jumped straight in the deep end. Sure, he is the first to admit that he’s made mistakes, but he’s learning from each one as he goes and that is something I really admire.
I spent over an hour talking to Tyler and I could go on writing about his farm in far more detail but the great thing about the Food Assembly is that you will get to meet him yourself, so I don’t want to spoil it! Dynamic Organics will only have a small number of vegetables over the Winter and Spring, like kale, cavolo nero, leeks, rainbow chard and some overwintering broad beans in Spring, but come summer he will have a wide range of delicious biodynamic veg, from tomatoes, to salads, beetroots, radishes, cucumbers and much more – we can’t wait!
We’re really excited to welcome Tyler and Dynamic Organics to the Cambridge Food Assembly and look forward to getting out and meeting more of our amazing producers over the coming months.