I run my small farm with draught horses. Four of them. Bella, Albert, George and Joey. They are the motive power on our land. We do not own or use any tractors. I came to this way of being from the tattered detritus of a former life. It had always been a dream with me, for as long as I could remember, to return to a horse drawn past. It was a life I felt would be more fulfilling than the barren and boring existence that so much of modernity offered.
While the Swiss system of government might already be familiar to some, what is less well know is that Switzerland has a longstanding tradition of valuing and protecting small farmers and their farmland and insisting on its use solely for agricultural purposes. In doing this it takes stringent measures to prevent farmland becoming an investment tool or falling to industrial or suburban development. The country recognizes the importance of preserving its agricultural heritage, ensuring food security, and maintaining a sustainable environment. Swiss law protects the nation’s farmland, and actively promotes local family farms and is enshrined in the Swiss Confederation Constitution which explicitly states that the Confederation and the Cantons shall ensure the preservation of agricultural land.