“Farming’s annual open day is back,” writes LEAF Open Farm Sunday manager Annabelle Shackleton, “and we’re calling on all farmers to get involved and start planting 100% cotton pants, now! And then reveal the results on LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS), 12 June, 2022
“Why? This fun activity is a memorable way to demonstrate the health or your soil and spark conversations with visitors about how you manage the natural resources on your farm.
“Healthy soil is a hungry soil. Over the next 60+ days, the millions of tiny life-forms in your soil will get to work eating the cellulose sugar which cotton is made of, and start decomposing the cotton items you have buried. Sterile, lifeless soil will have little effect, whereas organically-thriving soil will leave nothing but the nylon elastic in your pants. You could even get creative and bury other items to compare decomposition over time.”
“Whether you are a regular LEAF OFS host, or thinking of taking part for the first time in June, here’s how to get involved…
- Between now and Easter Sunday, 17 April, bury anything 100% cotton – pants, t-shirt, cloth – 8” deep at a few locations on your farm. Take photographs before and after. Write #LOFS22 #PlantYourPants on the items and post online.
- Leave the items undisturbed for at least 60 days. The drier your soil the longer you will need to leave them for the microbes to thrive.
- For your LEAF Open Farm Sunday event, dig up the items and proudly hang them out on display.
“Whilst your cotton items are rotting away, start planning your event. Decide on the size and type of event you will host, whether a simple farm walk or an open afternoon, our free ticketing service can help you control visitor numbers too,” adds Annabelle.
Farmers and growers can seek advice/tips from Molly Biddell, LOFS Ambassador South East e: [email protected] t: 07756 048 406