Duchess of Edinburgh gets an organic education during Somerset visit

ORGANIC food, learning and gardening were on the agenda for a royal visit to Somerset.

The Duchess of Edinburgh was in the county on April 17, where she joined a Learning Day at the Royal Bath & West Showground, before visiting organic dairy brand, Yeo Valley.

In her role as patron of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations, The Duchess attended the Field to Food Learning Day 2024 at the Shepton Mallet showground.

It is an annual day focused around educating the next generation about farming and food production, giving young people an insight into where their food comes from, and the hard work farmers do.

The Duchess took part in ‘plough to plate’ educational activities, learning about livestock, arable farming, horticulture, food, and machinery.

Later, she visited Hazel Manor and the Yeo Valley Organic Garden, in North Somerset, to discover projects which are opening up the countryside and to learn more about sustainable farm and gardening practises.

Yeo Valley Organic is Britain’s largest organic dairy brand; the 14th biggest-selling online grocery brand in the UK; and the third largest yogurt brand in the UK.

Team members at Yeo Valley highlighted multiple regenerative organic farming projects being undertaken across the firm’s farms, including mob grazing and agroforestry.

From there, it was on to the famous Yeo Valley Organic Garden, where the Duchess was welcomed by head gardener, Sarah Mead, and Yeo Valley co-founder Mary Mead OBE.

The six-and-a-half-acre Soil Association-certified ornamental garden was the inspiration behind the Autumnal Chelsea Flower Show entry in 2021, which was awarded an RHS Gold Medal and the BBC’s People’s Choice Award.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.