Queer Places:
New Bells Farm, New Bells Ln, Haughley, Stowmarket IP14 3RW

Lady Evelyn Barbara "Eve" Balfour was an English farmer, educator, organic farming pioneer, and a founding figure in the organic movement. She was one of the first women to study agriculture at an English university, graduating from the University of Reading. The daughter of the second Earl of Balfour, she began farming in 1920, in Haughley Green, Suffolk, England.

Balfour, who lived on a farm with her companion Beryl ‘Beb’ Hearnden from 1919 to about 1951, and then lived with agriculturalist Kathleen Carnley (1889-1976) until this latter's death, ‘discovered the freedom of breeches’ in the First World War.

In 1953, Balfour went to America and embarked on an exploratory tour, financed along the way by lectures, and described later as '9,600 Miles in a Station Wagon'. Accompanying Eve on this tour was her partner, Kathleen Camley, with whom she lived in a cottage at Haughley after the large farmhouse was rented out. Kathleen, known to everyone as 'KC', had joined the Haughley set during the 1930s, as a particularly skilful dairy worker. She had obtained a National Diploma in the Science and Practice of Dairying from the Midland Agricultural and Dairy College, Kingston, Derby, in 1917.

Eve and KC's 9,600 miles began in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and took in eleven states in three months. Eve did the driving, while KC took care of the arrangements for the busy schedule of lectures and meetings. They also visited organic farms and gardens and met with agricultural scientists, ecologists and businessmen to discuss the possible formation of an Ecological Research Foundation.

Eve and KC, while touring Australia and New Zealand, were guest at Bald Blair, the house of Harold White, the future agricultularist.

Mary De Bunsen, with Eve Balfour and Kathleen Carnley, sailed the Dove round to Birdham Pool where they used her as a hotel during a show.

Eve Balfour, founder of the Soil Association and instigator of the organic movement in British farming, lived with Kathleen Carnley for 50 years, yet her obituaries do not commemorate this fact.


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