Grizedale Arts

Lawson Park Livestock

16/05/2011 until 0000

Lawson Park Livestock

The idea behind Lawson Park is to reflect and engage with the cultures of the local area, working as a broad base that encompasses a range of projects; proposing and piloting new approaches to agriculture and livestock farming, ecology and lifestyle, in order to offer alternative and inventive methods of land use. As a project, the site is designed to be useful and productive, encouraging interactions between arts, community, political and economic thinking and practice, accessible through its many interconnected facets. As one aspect of this approach Lawson Park farm is home to a small variety of productive free-range livestock, including chickens, ducks, and a pedigree British Lop breeding pig.

The logic of keeping of livestock is of course attached to Lawson Park's experiments with productive uses of land. The small number of livestock can be fed and sustained from produce and waste from the house and gardens, while in turn performing useful tasks such as producing eggs, meat or fertilising fields, eating slugs in an economic and sometimes harmonious interaction of consumption and production. The breeding of British Lops from our gilt, Octavia, has stretched the slightly precariously self-sustaining balance of livestock, house and land, requiring quite a deal of maintenance - but in return she has plowed the fields and recently provided a mob of piglets from her swollen belly which we can sell on, and keep a few for eating.

The initial plan to keep only ginger animals on the farm was quietly abandoned due to concerns over inadvertent speciesism.