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I sold the rights to my songs to buy a farm – now I’m trying to change the way food is grown

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On the way back from a gig 15 years ago, I read an article on the environmental consequences of food production. It made for sobering reading, and ended by saying: “If you don’t like the system, don’t depend on it.” I was inspired to transform our garden in France into a vegetable patch in a quest for self-sufficiency.

This quickly escalated, and I ended up selling the rights to my songs with Groove Armada to buy a farm nearby. After 12 years in the agricultural school of hard knocks, what we learned there is now being applied on a National Trust farm near Swindon for which we were awarded the tenancy last year.Back in France during last month’s heatwaves, the effect on the landscape was devastating.

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