Green Living: Food and a little profit is all you need

Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:02am EDT
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(The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and Reuters takes no responsibility for them.)

By Nick Rosen

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - It's mid morning and Jyoti Fernandes has just received a call from a local restaurant in the wealthy coastal town of Lyme Regis, Dorset.

They need some mixed organic salad leaves in time for lunch - a rush order. The leaves are high-volume-for-weight and pack into three sizeable boxes.

"The Nasturtium petals are the most popular" said Fernandes, 34, who is from New Mexico.

Fernandes is one of a group of sustainable farmers in England with a vision for living off the land in a low-impact environmentally friendly way.

She arrived in southwest England with a small wind turbine in her suitcase, a dream of sustainable living and not much else. She bought her land, now renamed Fivepenny Farm, with her British husband Dai Saltmarsh using a loan from Triodos, a Dutch bank which specializes in eco-projects.

Saltmarsh slams the door of the four-wheel drive and sets off to deliver the produce. Fernandes talks while she picks the evening order.

At first the couple put up just two polytunnels on the land, she explains -- tube-shaped, plastic constructions that protect plants and vegetables against the ravages of the English summer.   Continued...

<p>A farmer works near wind turbines in the Sierra del Rey mountain range, about 100km (62 milles) from Lisbon June 2, 2008. REUTERS/Nacho Doce</p>