Loch Leven’s larder bears the increasingly common challenge in the United Kingdom of managing against competing environmentally friendly forces. A produce farm that supplies potatoes, carrots and other vegetables both to small local customers and large retailers, the farm must balance the salient — and compelling — need for profit with perceived public pressure to keep pace with the prevailing flavor of social responsibility. Though daunting, it’s a task Rob Niven, owner of Loch Leven’s Larder, pursues zealously and with a smile.
So, today has been pretty crazy. I finally wound up in Stockholm at around 2pm local time. From the airport, I was whisked straight to a meeting about an environmentally-friendly community, which felt a bit like a timeshare pitch. But, there was some solid information coming out of it. You know what struck me as crazy? You can rent a unit in this development for up to €1,100 a month, or you can buy a unit for around €400,000. That’s a pretty big gap.
Well, I have less than an hour until the wheels go up. Six hours to Reykjavik, then another three to Stockholm. I’m dreading the flight but excited about the trip. I’ll be covering an event dealing with clean technologies. Before you dismiss this as some tree-hugger shit, keep in mind that we live in a country beholden to oil, and some alternative will be needed soon. Think about it from a perspective of diversification. With all our eggs in one basket, we’re taking on a hell of a lot of risk. I think I know the angles I want to cover, so I’ll be able to hit the ground running.