A REGENERATIVE-farming approach to a one-acre no-dig market garden has earned the business a Farm Conservation Award nomination in this year’s Three Counties Farming Awards.

Oxton Organics’ tiny but diverse market garden is nurtured with a compost mulch to build healthy soil and is zero till.

It is central to the organic fruit and veg business run by Jake Eldridge at Broadway Lane, Fladbury, Worcestershire.

The garden yields an abundance of nutritious fruit and vegetables which are supplied direct to about 80 households every week through a box scheme, as well as to local restaurants and retailers.

Another 11 acres are ecologically managed through habitat creation, tree planting in functional agroforestry designs and grazing from a small flock of sheep, to provide maximum biodiversity and habitat.

“All of our enterprises are designed in a way that builds soil, builds habitat and sequesters carbon,” said Jake, who recently planted more than 1,500 trees. More are in the pipeline.

“In our vegetable production area our soil organic matter has increased by two per cent whilst providing sustainable employment for farm workers without subsidy,” added Jake.

He was nominated by Will Randall in recognition of his “dedication to the research and implementation of regenerative farming, and continued contributions toward the development of ecologically friendly farming methods”.

The award is sponsored by the Countryside Restoration Trust.

The Three Counties Farming Awards celebrate the region’s fruit, hop and cattle farming as well as sheep, pig, poultry and arable enterprises and those that stand out for their conservation practices.

The popular family-run farm, young farmer, farming hero and farming contractor categories have all returned for 2020, as well as an award for outstanding achievement.

Awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the Three Counties Showground in June.