A decade of working with agro-ecological growers, training in organic horticulture, establishing co-operative food enterprises and supporting Greater Manchester’s food movement has prepared Kindling for the next stage of our journey – our very own ‘farm and more’!
Kindling is now engaged in searching for land and partners to establish a pioneering rural base within 50 miles of the city. Much more than a farm, the Kindling Community Land Initiative aims not only to produce food for our city, but to engage in:
Sustainable Production: We will use best practice agro-ecological techniques to produce food on a large scale and support innovative sustainable businesses through a social enterprise hub - providing affordable land and premises, shared resources, networking and direct and mutually beneficial trading links with urban partners. Read more...
Sustainable Living: Through low-impact affordable housing we will demonstrate that it is possible to live well, contribute positively to rural economies and sustain a livelihood in farming.
Social Change: The farm is about more than food production. We will provide a range of practical courses and an affordable residential venue with support to encourage people to create change in their own communities.
Progress so far:
Since we started working in earnest on our plans for a rural base, progress has been swiftt!
- Thirty pioneer members now make up the backbone of the Kindling Community Land Initiative – constituted as a ‘Society for the Benefit of the Community’.
- An evaluation of our proposals has been carried out by farm management company Saville SmithsGore, who concluded that our concept is viable.
- We’re being guided by some of the UK’s most respected figures in the world of sustainable food, farming and social investment, who have come together to form an advisory group to guide our plans. Members of our panel include figures from the Sustain Food and Farming Alliance, Ethex, The Plunkett Foundation, the Real Farm Trust, Growing Communities, Nourish Scotland, and the Ecological Land Co-operative.
- A pioneering food charity has pledged to fund the farm with a grant of up to £100,000 if we are able to establish it in a defined time-scale.
- We are in discussion with two UK charitable trusts regarding the provision of a low interest bridging loan to cover land purchase.
- Big Potential funding has enabled us to look at the feasibility of the social enterprise hub to be based on the farm and make us investment ready.
- We are building relationships with a number of landowners to identify a suitable site for the farm.
“I am excited and inspired by the work of the Kindling Trust. They are innovators and connectors, establishing practical projects that demonstrate how the food system could be if we cared about supporting decent and resilient jobs in food production, a thriving environment and fair access to good food. The Kindling Trust creates values-driven models of food production and distribution that are truly replicable and should be picked up and implemented by communities and institutions across the country.” Kath Dalmeny, Co-ordinator, Sustain - the Alliance for Food & Farming
What we’re looking for:
- A farm located within 50 miles of Greater Manchester, approximately 80 hectares (200 acres) in size, with a large area suitable for a range of fruit and vegetable production (grade 1 or 2 agricultural land).
- A site with a farm house and out buildings that can secure planning permission (for the social enterprise hub, centre for social change, accommodation etc.)
- A farm for purchase or which could be asset transferred to us or leased on a long lease.
- A partner (local authority or land owner) to help make this vision a reality.
The Time is Ripe for Kindling to establish a farm for Greater Manchester and beyond! Want to help?!