On Sunday 9th June, hundreds of farms will be opening to the public so they can get closer to farming and see for themselves where their food comes from, how it is produced and learn more about farming and the fabulous job it does. Tucked away, in an unexpected corner of Stockport, Woodbank Community Food Hub provides a taster of what a better food and farming future looks like.
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of the incredible Martin Wolfe, pioneer and father of agroforestry in the UK, who died earlier this month at his home in Wakelyns Farm.
We are seeking a highly motivated and driven individual, with experience of developing and delivering community cookery sessions, to join our social prescribing team at Woodbank Community Food Hub. The role also involves working with our growers to develop seasonal recipes, find ways to use any produce gluts etc, as well as supporting the development of the Veg Box People veg bag scheme and other related work.
January is a particularly exciting time of year for us as we welcome a new influx of people on the FarmStart growing training programme hosted at Woodbank Community Food Hub. This year we have a number of people looking to follow on from the growers of years past, expanding the growing area and supplying Manchester Veg People as well as the quickly growing Veg Box People. Andrew (left), Nick C (centre), Nick G (right) and our fourth FarmStarter answer some questions to get to know them better...
"I saw something pop up on Facebook early last year and signed up to volunteer with the Land Army at Woodbank. It was a number of months before I was able to attend my first one but once I did I was hooked. I volunteered with the Land Army almost every other weekend and sometimes during the week after that. After talking to Chris and Helen about the future plans for the community farm I knew I wanted to be more involved and felt that I had something to offer to support the development of that plan.
Among national chaos and frustration, 2019 actually started for us in celebration, of the 10th Anniversary of the Oxford Real Farming Conference. Over 10 years ORFC has grown from 3 pioneers in a café wanting to bring people together to ‘talk seriously about food and farming’ to 1000 farmers, scientists campaigners and anyone serious about food, taking over Oxford town hall and surrounding buildings! Chris and Helen had the honour of attending this seminal food and farming conference (their 7th) in early January.
We spoke to Corrina Low who is involved in the community engagement on site (at Woodbank Community Food Hub): supporting volunteers, community groups, community gardeners and social prescribing projects over the year.
How has the community gardening group developed over the past year?
There are lots more people attending, the groups we have in are coming every week, whereas to begin with it was only a few people sporadically.