Martin Talks About Global Humility for Our Health

sheep and 2 lambs in field

I have been a small upland organic farmer for more than 30 years, previously raising beef and currently farming sheep.

I can’t remember when I first encountered the use of homeopathic thuja for treating Orf in sheep, but when many years ago my own sheep developed Orf I turned to thuja almost automatically. The more conventional veterinary world couldn’t offer any treatment except, of course, antibiotics if secondary infection resulted. I did think critically about what I was doing, but – whilst being a ruthlessly sceptical person – I was open minded enough to recognise there was lot I did not understand, – and, – if something works there must be reason for it – even if I could not see how it was possible.

When I suffered prolapsed discs in my lower spine, the conventional medical world declared that the severity did not warrant an operation and so there was nothing else they could do. If I was to continue farming I needed to get better and so it was up to my body to heal itself. I went to see a homeopath. Of course I can’t be absolutely sure, but I think she helped – possibly a lot.

This only happened to me once whereas with my sheep, Orf happened sufficiently often over the years to reinforce the – shall I call it ‘suspicion’ – that the homeopathic remedy really did seem to be clearing up the Orf, partly because it usually happened very soon after treatment. One thing I was very fortunate to realise at an early age is that nature is clever, – very clever – I know people get things wrong but nature does not.

I have a friend who is veterinary surgeon, and my attention in recent months has been drawn to the unwarranted and pointless challenge to veterinary homeopathy from certain quarters. One of the major challenges to homeopathy is a claim that it is not science based. This is a fascinating nonsensical claim and one quite inadvertently mocked recently by Will Self on Radio 4 airing his ‘point of view’ on the recent history of mental health treatment within the health service. Not a lot of hard evidence to the science there! Medical treatments continually change, opinions change, and scientific understanding evolves and interpretation develops. Nowadays there are the vested interests of drug companies to consider, the inherent problem being that, as companies with shareholders, they are legally bound NOT to allow anything to impede profit. The way scientific research is conducted would also benefit from much more open scrutiny as much of it is conducted by drug companies.

It is also very easy to cherry pick studies and draw erroneous conclusions in order to support an ulterior motive or a personal or popular belief. The way we accept or reject what is plausible or not is probably affected by much that is irrational. As I write, an urgent global day of action by citizens from 90 countries is taking place calling on governments of the world to act on climate change. Something that is, or should be, relevant to everything we do now is climate change. But my point is that despite the urgency and the science that points overwhelmingly to the folly of proceeding with fossil fuels such as fracking, our government is unable, it seems, to accept the science in some strange belief that economic growth is more important than a habitable planet.

I could add that science is also telling us that 1 tonne of artificial nitrogen fertiliser puts about 6 or so tonnes of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere in its manufacture, that it also harms soil organisms paradoxically making the soil less fertile, which in turn releases MORE greenhouse gases.

But if agriculture moves in the right direction – I mean globally and holistically – it will be that which saves the planet. Our soil has the potential to sequester a lot of carbon when the vegetation and crops are managed well to photosynthesise to best advantage – ie as nature would, without our intervention. Then the soil we could have, after enabling nature to restore or regenerate what we have destroyed over millennia, will sequester even more carbon. It will mean a lot of change and a lot of learning, and pretty much complete global humility from all those producing food.

… And where does the homeopathy come in? Homeopathy is an holistic approach to health – it encourages looking at the whole picture with a view to enable self healing and for the good of the whole. It may seem just a bit far fetched, but as the climate situation – which is all our own making – is actually very urgent – those taking decisions on behalf of humanity and the planet, might be well served by adopting a similar approach and therefore make decisions that really are in the best interests of everyone.

Martin head shot

About the author: I’m Martin and have been a small upland organic farmer for more than 30 years, previously raising beef and currently I farm sheep.


Joining the Dots to Reveal the Whole Picture

Sally wood with homeopathy

I farm a dairy herd of 200 crossbreeds (previously 300) in SW Wales, with my partner Garry, and we are currently converting the farm to organic standards. In 2008 I took the Homeopathy at Wellie Level basic course in farm homeopathy which inspired me to train as a homeopath.

We had always been bent towards organic farming, particularly since discovering homeopathy, but we believed that our land hadn’t enough depth of soil or quality to it to make conversion possible. However, seeing a nearby farm on similar land convert, we felt we had no excuse.

We were already being forced to downsize due to the loss of some land and a member of staff – so why not downsize a little more and convert to Organic?

So the decision was made to convert. All non organic commodities were sold; it was an exciting but terrifying decision –all at the same time!

We quickly realised that converting was a much bigger step than just not using artificial fertiliser and chemical sprays. My brain went into overdrive when our crop was attacked by cabbage white butterfly caterpillars, and panic bells rang. As a student of homeopathy I had witnessed the improvement in the stock’s health over several years of using remedies. Now I considered the radical concept of using homeopathy on plants and crops.

Our spraying contractor thought I’d lost the plot, “There’s no smell- no colour –there’s nothing in it!” But I saved my crop by spraying them with homeopathic remedies! This was a ‘light bulb’ moment for me – and then I got to thinking, what else is there we can use?

We’d so much to learn.

So, we organised on-farm workshops; workshops on Dung beetles and how cattle wormers affected them and the soil; workshops on herbal leys, so our stock could self -medicate, and more.

We visited a farmer homeopath in Ireland and she introduced us to Radionics; sending ‘messages’ out to the fields and stock all sounded a little far-fetched –but we believed in and used Homeopathy –so we had to take this on board!

I suddenly remembered that I’d been taught at The Welsh School of Homeopathy, that things happen for a reason, at the correct time – was this what was happening? My mind was open, no longer in its bubble concentrating on just milking cows.

Radionics then took us a step further; we were introduced to a book by Alanna Moore, author of -‘Stone Age Farming’. Inspired, we booked her for a two day workshop on our farm – and so off we went again -para-magnetic rock dust and Towers of Power are now part of our toolkit.

I’ve also engaged a Permaculture student to mentor us and monitor our land and to tutor us in composting and making bio-fertilisers.

Dowsers have visited the farm to try and train me in their art; we’re thinking outside the box!

We’re spraying good bacteria on to the cow’s teats, pre and post milking in place of chemicals.

And the one thing I’ve realised from all this information and experience is:

  • There isn’t one single answer,
  • There isn’t one way to do things,
  • Nothing is just black or white,
  • You must come at things from all angles,

And no one knows it all!

For me, I feel I’m beginning to join up a few dots to make a little sense out of it all. I realise everything is linked. And we have to start from the soil and work up – soil health is paramount:

healthy soils = healthy plants = healthy stock = need for fewer drugs = healthier humans

When I first discovered Homeopathy, ten years ago, and realised its potential I felt I had to make more farmers aware of its capabilities. But that was just the beginning, and now, having travelled the path I’ve been led to follow, I’ve found there is a much bigger picture.

We have to look at the whole picture to sustain a healthy planet.

Sally Wood

About the author: I’m Sally, a lifelong conventional dairy farmer who, back in 2004 began to question the amount of artificial chemicals, vaccines, wormers, and drugs I was using on my stock and land.