The success story of the DUCHY HOME FARM has its roots and beginnings in the year 1985, when Prince Charles was looking for a new farm manager, with whom he could put his ecological visions into practice. Back then, the Prince had no practical experience whatsoever in agriculture or gardening.
„The only trees I had planted were very official ones in very official holes!“ Charles realized right away that David Wilson shared with him an exquisite and profound curiosity to strive for extraordinary innovations, and had just as many burning questions as he did. This common ground was an important basis for their journey to find answers and solutions to these questions.
There were many who smiled about Prince Charles becoming a „green“ Prince - others simply declared him crazy. With his typical British humour Prince Charles describes his journey into the world of organic farming: „The experts have been quite polite in my presence, but one can only guess what their thoughts were about this latest demonstration of mental derangement, once they were out of sight. But we started with the conversion of 30 hectares to organic farming.“
Prince Charles has dreams, but he is far more than just a dreamer - he is a man of action. It was neither naive romanticism, nor a spontaneous impulse that inspired Prince Charles to get engaged in organic farming. The idea ripened over the years and as he says, he followed his intuition from which he could not escape. During these beginnings in the mid eighties he had one particular objective: sustainability.
Highly decorated with prestigious environmental awards, the Prince is committed to the protection of rainforests, questions of climate change, and to the conservation of threatened animal and plant species, many of which have come to find a safe haven on his farm.
"Agriculture is not just as any other business. Agriculture is very different from other economic activities, because it has the long term responsibility for the precious life necessities we get from nature.“
We must realise that we are, ourselves, very much a part of nature, and not just separate from her. I felt very strongly that we were in danger of compromising the future productivity of the soil, if we didn‘t take trouble to maintain its health.“
„I have battled and battled to try and encourage people to understand how important the small family farmer is - all around the world. These are the people on whom genuine food security depends. We cannot put all our trust in giant operations and huge industrial systems, because they have within them the seeds of their own destruction. That is why the development and protection of the small farmer is crucial, but everywhere, all around the world, they are being driven off the land as we speak.“
Prince Charles - Background
„The Earth is under threat. It cannot cope with all that we demand of it. It is losing its balance and we humans are causing this to happen.” The Prince believes that the environmental crises are a consequence of a far deeper problem, a “crisis of perception”. That is why the Prince calls for “a new world view”. Deshalb fordert der Prince of Wales „eine neue Sicht unserer Welt“.
Although he may be surrounded by an aura of the old-fashioned, he has lived through phases that – measured by the Windsor’s family traditions – appear quite unconventional. He was the first heir to the throne to attend a public school. His mother, todays Queen, and her sister Margaret had been tutored in the Buckingham Palace, where any interaction with the “wrong people” could be prevented. Prince Charles was also the first heir apparent to graduate university. He attended Trinity College in Cambridge, where he read archaeology, anthropology and history. His upbringing was marked by his parents’ belief that a monarchy could only endure if it went with the times. All of the issues that the Prince would come to engage with in the future, were discovered out of his personal drive. He came to know about the problems of the underprivileged youths in his country through managing the multi-million “Jubilee Funds”. Since 1977 “The Queen’s Jubilee Trust” has supported over 600,000 young men and women in Great Britain and the entire Commonwealth with scholarships. Prince Charles also started his own foundation; through education and loans, he has helped thousands of young unemployed individuals to earn a living. And so Charles became the “caring Prince”, who also bears a great concern for maltreated nature. More than 30 years ago, he converted the previously conventionally run DUCHY HOME FARM into one of the first organic farms in England.