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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 20:41 GMT 21:41 UK
Prince Charles makes organic plea
Prince Charles
Prince Charles spreads the organic message
Prince of Wales spoke of "chickens coming home to roost" in light of the GM food debate during an official visit to an organic farm.

Prince Charles, patron of the organic group, The Soil Association, made the comments at the 2,250-acre Sheepdrove Farm in Lambourn, Berkshire, on Monday.

The owners, Peter and Juliet Kindersley rear cattle, sheep and poultry.

They play CDs to chickens to help them get used to the outdoors. The Prince opened the farm's conference centre.

Compost recycling operation

As he opened the 3m purpose-built building, Prince Charles said: "Twenty years ago when I first started to use organic systems at Highgrove it was met with complete ridicule.

"It's interesting now that it isn't ridiculed to the same degree.

"I think people are beginning to realise that some of the chickens are coming home to roost and settle heavily in the genetically modified trees."

He also paid tribute to the Kindersleys for their efforts to promote "natural systems" - the centre, designed by architect David Mellor, is built from natural minerals .

The toilet partitions in the building have been constructed using recycled toothpaste tubes, while the sinks are made from old CD cases.

I think people are beginning to realise that some of the chickens are coming home to roost and settle heavily in the genetically modified trees.

Prince Charles

Prince Charles was also impressed with the farm's compost recycling operation, processing organic waste from local stables and households, collected by the council.

The Kindersleys began the farm - which has about 14,000 chickens at any one time - nine years ago.

Once they have hatched, the chickens spend the first part of their lives in special sheds, where outdoor noises are played on a CD system.

The Prince said to the couple: "I remember when I first started, and for quite a long time afterwards I was told, it's very difficult to achieve anything organic in our part of the world, it's so chalky or so sandy'.

"You have shown that the system can work anywhere."

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