East of England
Transition Cambridge CropShare is a small-scale community-supported agriculture (CSA) scheme in Cambridge.
The CSA is run as a partnership between Transition Cambridge and Waterland Organics. It experiments with ‘crop-sharing,’ which we define as an exchange of use of land for access to labour, creating opportunities for farm-community collaboration.
Throughout the growing season, Waterland Organics will make its farmland available for use by volunteers from the Cambridge area, and reward volunteers with seasonal veggies. In exchange, Transition Cambridge volunteers will help plant, weed, and harvest Waterland Organics’ crops.
Wimpole Community Farm
Wimpole Community Farm (WCF) is a CSA project initiated and overseen by the National Trust, located on their Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire. It was set up in Spring 2010 and is run by a community of members and shareholders. Future plans include keeping bees and possibly setting up a sister organisation to rear livestock. The farm is organic, growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers on a one-acre plot with the opportunity to expand within the surrounding five-acre field. The weekly produce share distributions are up and running and the group are looking for individuals to join the 30 existing members.
Benefits of joining WCF:
- Receive a weekly share of freshly picked organic fruits and vegetables.
- Connect with the land and learn more about growing crops by volunteering on the farm, without the time commitment of an allotment.
- Involve the entire family in a meaningful activity, while sparking children’s interest in healthy eating and sustainable foods.
- Meet people with shared interests while working on the farm or attending one of our many group events such as a guided walk of the Estate or an Elder flower champagne demonstration.
- Help build a community committed to increasing the local organic food supply.
- Members of the WCF also receive a 10% discount at the Wimpole Home Farm shop on the purchase of eggs and heritage-breed meats.
The ethos of Wimpole Community Farm is based on the idea of ‘sharing the risk and sharing the harvest.’ We are keen that members have the opportunity to learn more about growing crops and food production along with getting involved in various social activities we are planning to run through the year.
Stephen and Philip Taylor are the third generation of the Taylor family to grow fruit at Lathcoats. A commercial fruit farm of 55ha with a large farm shop and PYO, growing 43 different varieties of apples. In 2000 they started the the Rent a Tree scheme. Members of the scheme pay approximately £20 a year and when in season are invited to come and pick all the fruit from their tree. This arrangement provides secure income for the grower and delicious fresh fruit straight from the farm for the members at a very affordable price. Scheme organiser Philip Taylor has decided to continue the scheme because, although it did not generate a great deal of direct income, it provided valuable publicity for the farm and the farm shop. However he did not expect the amount of administration involved. "Taking people's contact details and keeping them informed can be time consuming, especially as they all have very different ideas", said Philip.
Beehive Lane, Galleywood, Chelmsford Essex CM2 8LX T: 01245 353021
There are several local food enthusiasts in the Berkhamsted/Tring & Hemel Hempstead area who would like to set up and support a CSA project. We are keen to find a willing land owner or farmer to work in partnership with. If you would be interested in starting a CSA project with us please contact Marion Baker E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Primrose Cottage, Sawbridgeworth
Primrose Cottage is a 7.5 acres farm that is partially certified by the Soil Association as organic, promotes practise of forest, fruit and flower gardening, biodiversity protection and also has bed and breakfast facilities. We welcome school visits and other educational partnerships. The ethos behind the project is that we firmly believe in promotion and practise of organic principles while at the same time supporting the local food economy within the wider context of sustainable development. We also support and would like to develop the co-operative values that are essential for sustainable social enterprises to become and remain successful within the organic movement. We are inviting interested parties to lease 2.5 acres of land which can also be managed collectively so long as organic principles are observed. There will be no charge for the rest of the season till April next year apart from electricity and water.
Diss Community Farm
We started in Spring 2011, things are going really well, we're producing 43 veg shares each week at a cost of £3.50 per share (price to go up to £4 in June 2012) and we're rearing four pigs. We employ a grower one day a week who is supported by volunteers. The veg is harvested on Thursdays by volunteers and taken to a collection point in Roydon, just outside Diss. By June 2012 we're aiming to produce veg for 80 shares so we're adding names of anyone that is interested to a waiting list. We currently have the pigs on a site in Palgrave (at Kadesh Community Farm) and the vegetables are being grown in Winfarthing a village near Diss. We also have 3.6 acres of land in Roydon which we will eventually transfer both livestock and veg production to once it is ready.
Norwich FarmShare was started as an offshoot of Transition Norwich and in 2011 we completed our first growing season. We are constituted as an IPS cooperative and rent seven acres of land on the outskirts of Norwich, which we crop in rotation with large areas under green manure. Two part-time growers plan, cultivate and plant, as well as leading teams of volunteers.
We offer three sizes of vegetable share at £20.50, £39.00, and £54.50 per month; currently we have 92 member-groups. Members pick up their vegetables once a week from a central Norwich location, or they can have their food delivered by our bicycle delivery team for a small supplemental charge. All members are asked to contribute at least 9 hours a year of work on the farm or, if physical work is difficult, in a number of other roles.
Bungay Community Bees
Bungay Community Bees (BCB) is a new CSA that has formed with the aim of keeping the decline of the honey bee to a minimum in our locality. Our project was launched in April and we already have 25 members with shares in a hive. Our proposal for development over the next 5 years is on our website. Benefits to members include:
- Visits to the hives with the BCB beekeepers to learn more about apiculture.
- The opportunity to have a hive in your garden (if the site is suitable; hives will only be tended by insured BCB beekeepers).
- Every year one or two members of BCB will have the chance to attend a beekeeping course paid for by BCB.
- An invitation to the honey harvest and bee party every Autumn.
- Regular updates and photos via the BCB pages on the SB website.
- A share of the wax and honey. BCB will be as much about caring for bees as about bee products.
Our project will involve a wide cross-section of the community - not just those willing and able to keep bees. This is because, in addition to directly supporting bees, there is a strong educative element. Bungay Community Bees will be talking to interest groups and displaying information in Bungay Library Courtyard regarding the importance of bees, bee-friendly gardening and ways in which people can take a positive step towards maintaining and increasing bee numbers.
The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm CSA, Suffolk
Our community supported agriculture scheme members enjoy a weekly supply of local fresh vegetables, all grown without the use of artificial fertilisers or pesticides in Rushmere-St-Andrew, East Ipswich.
CSA members enjoy an equal share of all the vegetables grown on the farm, for a weekly price of £8. Members commit to work a minimum number of hours on the farm: at least two hours per week on average during the busy season (March – August), and one hour per week on average during the rest of the year (September – February).
Right now we are fully subscribed, but we are currently inviting a strictly limited number of new members to sign up for a vegetable share from June 2014.