Community Farm, Chew Magna
A stone’s throw from Chew Valley Lake, The Community Farm at Chew Magna is a unique growing community working to transform farming. The Farm is owned by its members who invested over £126,000 to enable the take over of the organic growing, box scheme and wholesale business of the Better Food Company. This took place in April 2011 and since then the farm has been delivering veg boxes to hundreds of regular customers, offering events, volunteering opportunities, annual membership and has plans for more. So far, 22 of a potential 50 acres of land, have been cultivated. At capacity the farm could provide vegetables for up to 1000 families via a vege-box scheme. A variety of vegetables are being grown with plans to cultivate fruit trees and rear animals. Run as a social enterprise, the intention is that shareholders and members from the Bristol, Bath and Chew Valley areas will take part in the farm through volunteering, learning about vegetable growing and organic farming, and reconnecting to where their food comes from.
A second community share offer was launched on 1st September 2011 to raise a further £100,000 to develop education, provide agricultural buildings and for new equipment. Investors can get involved in member days, volunteering and other farm activities. “Whilst the financial return on your investment may be limited, the social return and community benefit this project will bring will more than compensate,” said David Hunter, Chair.
Sims Hill Shared Harvest
This new group is renting 5 acres at Sims Hill from Bristol City Council. We are now in our first year of production with over 50 households signed up as members and have begun our seasonal veg box scheme from July 2011. The group welcomes enquiries from interested groups and individuals as we still have spaces for more members.
Winterbourne Community Farm
The Winterbourne Community Farm is still trying to find some land to farm to produce vegetable boxes for the local community based on organic methods of farming. There are plenty of people interested in local vegetable production. The aim is still to farm on the local grade1 agricultural land close to Winterbourne that historically was used for vegetables and feeding the locality of North Bristol as happened 30 years ago. In the meantime a growing group is producing some vegetables including heritage seed varieties in the small walled garden at the Winterbourne Medieval Barn. If you have any interest or knowledge of land we might use then do get in touch Contact: Peter on 01454 250834 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bosavern Community Farm, St Just
The St Just Allotment and Growers group, a sub group of a Community Land Trust, have recently secured an 18 month land lease from the County Council, with aspirations to develop and run Bosavern as a sustainable community farm. This is brilliant news for the group, preventing the farm from going into private ownership and creating an opportunity to keep it in perpetuity for the benefit of the local community. Amongst others, they are receiving advice from the Plunkett Foundation, through the Making Local Food Work partnership, to help raise the capital needed through a community share issue, as well as with business planning. http://www.bosaverncommunityfarm.org.uk/
Camel CSA, Wadebridge
Camel Community Supported Agriculture recently celebrated successful funding bids totalling £60,000 from the Local Food Fund and ECLAG by launching their Growing Food, Growing People project on 27 October. The CSA has been running for nearly 2 years and involves 50 households who cultivate vegetables on a two-acre plot for their weekly veg boxes. They also buy in produce from local growers giving them a secure market. The funding will enable Camel to invest in 3 polytunnels, a bore hole, water tank, irrigation system, sheds, tractor, tools and rabbit proof fencing. It will also mean they can offer volunteering, educational and social opportunities for disadvantaged and unemployed people through partnerships with schools and other local groups. Charlotte Barry, chair said: “This financial injection will enable us to work with wider groups of people within the rural community in north Cornwall to promote links between fresh, seasonal food, good health and well-being.”
Harrowbarrow and Metherill Agricultural Society (known locally as Hamas)
When villagers turned up for a meeting in their pub with local farmer James Tancock, they thought it was to talk about allotments. However now they have now planted up nearly 7 half acres with veg on the plot near Callington since April and have already managed to attract 80 subscribing members from the two neighbouring villages! For a taster of the scheme visit their Yahoo group. http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/hamagriculture/
Lizard Onions, The Lizard
Our vision is for a sustainable, mixed smallholding working towards organic status that will provide local, well-produced food for people in the village, educational opportunities for the children of the village and a community project which is open to all through varying levels of membership. We are currently looking at which fields we could have and are hoping for 15 acres so that we can use 3 for veg and the remainder for livestock including cattle, sheep, a pig and chickens and hope to employ a grower. We have many ideas that are taking shape and now have a steering committee who are taking these ideas forward. We’re receiving lots of positive feedback from the wider community, with many offers of hands-on support and are continuing to talk to people as our ideas develop. We’re holding an information day in The Reading Rooms, The Lizard on September 30th (2pm - 8pm) to allow us to share our plans with the local community, gather feedback from them and hopefully get people to sign up so that we can then develop our business plan. For more information contact the Steering Group: email@example.com
Lowarth Brogh (Badger's Garden CSA), the first in Cornwall, began as a small project near lands end 4 years ago. Grower Dylan explains, ‘Years ago we moved to the current site near Penzance. Our CSA is on 2 acres and over the years has become based more on the "teikei" version of CSA from Japan, which aims to provide a wide variety of produce to a small number of loyal customers. This is all taking place in what will eventually be a productive forest garden. We are trying to use as little fossil fuel as possible, and so make minimal use of the tractor run on biodiesel and rotovators etc as a way of seeing how to produce food post peak oil. We even growing oats for the first time.' For more information contact Dylan Keating or see the blog:
The National Trust
There are a number of National Trust properties around Cornwall and Devon which may have opportunities for developing CSA's on the farm and/ or walled gardens these include:
- Cotehele, nr Saltash, Cornwall
- Penrose, nr Helston, Cornwall
- Killerton, nr Exeter, Devon
- Knighthayes, nr Tiverton, Devon
- Saltram, nr Plymouth, Devon
If you are a farmer or grower interested in developing a CSA with the National Trust in Cornwall or Devon, then contact Julie Proctor, Farm and Countryside Advisor
For other community enquiries contact Traci Lewis, Soil Association
Broadclyst Community Farm set up on 32 acres of National Trust property is providing vegetables and meat to their supporters whilst also re-establishing the environmental and agricultural heritage of the farm. By 2015 they hope to be supplying at least 200 families with vegetables and occasional meat and eggs. This October they took charge of their first pigs which should be ready for eating in time for Christmas. The CSA has also been approved for a community tree planting pack from the Woodland Trust with 420 saplings.
The Farm has developed very well since the land was made available in November 2010 and this spring:
- We have planted an orchard of 72 fruit trees including traditional and local varieties.
- Our small flock of Wiltshire Horns have produced 25 lambs - with one more due.
- We have planted 460 hedgrow trees in newly built or recently repaired banks.
- Our pigs continue to thrive and have proven to taste very good indeed - currently we have 3 Tamworth / Duroc crosses which will be ready next month.
- We have planted about 16 acres of grass / lucerne / clover to improve the land and provide pasture.
- Our potato and vegetable crop is looking very good (a rabbit fence protects the vegetables).
- We are trying out a (very) few chickens to see how they will fit in.
All of this has been achieved through volunteer work. It has proven to be a really good experience working with others whether planting potatoes, weeding, digging in fence posts or looking after the animals. A diploma course in horticulture will soon be run on the Farm by British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and elements of a conservation course may also be run on the Farm.
Chagford Community Agriculture
Chagford Community Agriculture is a small-scale CSA setting-up on a 3-acre field on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. In March 2010 they received planning permission from the National Park Authority for three polytunnels and two sheds required for the scheme and are now eligible for £38,600 of funding from the Local Food Grant programme. CCA already has 25 members from the local community ready to buy shares in the first year of the scheme, they will be supplying weekly veg-boxes to up to 50 local households by 2012. CCA is using a Dartmoor X Welsh Cob draught horse for as much of the cultivation as possible, and also the delivery of the veg-boxes to the village centre.
Occombe Farm CSA
At the heart of the One Planet Food Project is the aim of reconnecting people with local food production. Our farm is open daily to the public and we host many events for kids and adults alike. At Occombe we have set up a CSA veg box scheme selling produce grown on the farm direct to local people. As well as purchasing a weekly box we hope that the people that join the scheme will get involved with the project through volunteering and attending events as well.
Shaftesbury Home Grown
Our project is developing, going into our second growning season we have a small shop selling a wide variety of vegetables. For 2011 we are developing our livestock range to pigs, chickens, ducks and sheep. We also have bees and hope they will provide honey.
The Threshold Centre
Threshold Centre is a not for profit education/demonstration project about co-housing and sustainable living. Growing food for the 14 households and visitors is integral to the project. Last winter they acquired one acre of pastureland from a local farmer to convert into a community garden. They have agreed plans that include the development of raised beds, the erection of a polytunnel, creation of two wildlife ponds/habitat areas, establishing a mini orchard and keeping some bees and chickens. Contact Amanda Pearson:
Thirty five people attended the first public meeting held of Nailsworth CSA, near Stroud in February. Several people offered land and growing skills. Most support was for very locally based schemes rather than a large complex CSA for the town, and 7 groups emerged including a group to restore and use some derelict polytunnels, a group to join an existing 25acre small holding at Woodchester, a shared allotment group and a community garden group. A steering group was set up to cover overarching and communication issues.
For more information contact Fi Macmillan:
T: 01453 832 892
National Star College, Ullenwood, Cheltenham
The college is a residential FE college for 140 students with mainly complex disabilities, plus it offers day courses to local students. The college has substantial grounds and would like to see some form of farm/market gardening project which could engage with the local community and potentially run as an enterprise employing students when they leave the college. Contact Phill Hucks:
Stroud Community Agriculture
A well established Demeter certified biodynamic CSA started in 2001, it now has nearly 200 members and supplies them with a weekly vegetable share. They keep pigs, sheep and cows and supply the meat to members that want to buy it. They rent a total of 50 acres on 2 separate sites and employ 2 full time and one part time grower/farmers. See the case study below for our full history and more information on our website including details of our regular farm days.
Stroud LETS Allotment
A shared triple allotment that provides vegetables for the families who work it and, during summer months, additional boxes of veg which are sold for LETS (a local exchange trading system).
Sustainable Thornbury have teamed up with their local Camphill Community to extend the Camphill farm into growing for a CSA box scheme for local people. Planting is about to begin. There is brilliance in this carefully discussed partnership - Camphill have been able to provide land, a grower apprentice, back up from the farm and set up costs. Sustainable Thornbury and the transition group have been able to provide momentum, marketing, local networking and an arrangement to cover revenue costs and pay the growers' wage.
Bathampton Community Cooperative
Bathampton Community Cooperative is being launched on Thursday 31st March 2011 in Bathampton Village hall at 7.30pm. The coop will officially take over the lease of the 6.5 acres of land in Bathampton from Transition Bath. They will be providing information about joining the coop, signing people up for one of the first 30 veg shares in 2011 and letting people know about the development of the land so far. Go along to find out about the different ways you can get involved in the project. They will have new regular volunteer days on Sundays from 10am. There's lots of work to do with raised beds, digging and planting in these crucial spring months.
For more information please contact Jamie on firstname.lastname@example.org
Bradford on Avon CSA (BoACA)
BoACA has 3 acres of rented land within walking distance of Bradford on Avon. Over one acre has been cultivated and sown with green manure and crops including potatoes, onions, chard and broad beans. BoACA has over 35 members and are keen to encourage more local people to join. Currently the work is being done by an enthusiastic group of volunteers on regular drop in days, but they hope to employ a grower soon. They successfully secured funding from the Community Area Board for £4,100 for initial set up costs including rabbit fencing, shed construction and hand tools for volunteers. You can see more of BoACA's plans on their solar-powered website at www.boaca.co.uk
Vallis Veg, Frome
Vallis Veg is based on an 18 acre site on the edge of Frome. They have started trading this year as a box scheme, but are interested in exploring the CSA model. The business has strong links with the community and community groups such as Sustainable Frome. They already host various community activities, eg. a gardening club, permaculture courses, a children's tree-planting event and a community food-growing co-op and are looking to develop further opportunities of this kind. Contact Chris Smaje and Cordelia Rowlatt
River Bourne Community Farm
River Bourne Community Farm is based on 63 acres of land adjacent to Cow Lane in the village of Laverstock, Salisbury. The farm has developed into a sustainable working farm, supported by staff and by volunteers.
The farm site was first occupied in January 2010 is managed by The River Bourne Community Farm C.I.C. The farm is being developed with new buildings being constructed from locally sourced materials, a recycled Dutch barn, livestock pens and paddocks and hedge planting and maintenance. Education plays a large part of the farm, giving local schools and community groups access to the day-to-day work of the farm.
A traditional herd of Angus X cattle are grazed both on the water meadows and on a further 60 acres of local downland, Wiltshire Horn Sheep and Lohman Brown hens are resident at the farm as co-operative arrangements, with the hens roaming free range in the orchard which was planted in 2011/12. There are two resident breeding sows, who produce litters for pork and also rare breed Golden Guernsey Goats.
The farm is actively supported by many local individuals and businesses both practically and financially along with other funding sources.
Phone: 01722 330667 Email: email@example.com