Frank Newman Turner

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Biographical Information

"Frank Newman Turner (FNT) was a visionary. He founded The Farmer, the first organic quarterly magazine ‘published and edited from the farm’, won the Great Comfrey Race, initiated by Lawrence D. Hills in 1953, was a founder member of the Soil Association, and became the first president of the Henry Doubleday Research Association (HDRA), now the world’s largest organic horticultural association. He later became a leading medical herbalist and naturopath and published magazines promoting natural health care and organic principles.

"Also in 1946, with the help of Derek Randall, FNT established the Whole Food Society to put producers in touch with consumers who wanted organic produce. (This was probably the first use of the term ‘wholefood’ to define food which is unrefined and grown without artificial sprays and fertilisers.)

"Richard de la Mare, then the chairman of the publishers Faber and Faber, was among the visitors to Goosegreen and he persuaded FNT to write the trilogy of organic farming books published in the early fifties, Fertility Farming, Fertility Pastures, and Herdsmanship...

"The farming phase of his career came to an end and the familymoved to Letchworth Garden City, in Hertfordshire where he established a practice that is still run by his oldest son, Roger. Letchworth was also handy for London, where FNT was a consultant at the Society of Herbalists, in Bruton Street, and it is the home of St Christopher School, a progressive vegetarian school which his two younger sons attended.

"The Farmer eventually closed down after more than ten years but FNT continued to publish its subsection, The Gardener, as a monthly magazine. It was probably the first exclusively organic gardening periodical. He also edited and published Fitness and Health from Herbs, the magazine of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, of which he was made a Fellow..."[1]

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  1. Frank Newman Turner Bio, organizational web page, accessed January 6, 2013.