We were delighted to get news that James Powell, who participated in our Commercial Growers Course last autumn, has completed his land purchase near his home in Milton Keynes. After 15 years of allotment-eering and providing a seasonal veg box to 28 local families, he's ready to scale up production to a more commercial scale, and hopes to eventually transition from his day job...
It's kickstarted community projects all over the world already...what will you do after seeing it?!
Wednesday 26th April, 6.30pm at the International Anthony Burgesss Foundation, M1 5BY
The mission of the Ecological Land Co-operative (ELC) is the creation of residential smallholdings aimed at new entrants to horticulture and mixed farming, protected for ecological agricultural use in perpetuity. A dream for many, but one for which the barriers are high. Leading a land-based livelihood can be a tough path, which we know all too well about.
Our latest FeedingManchester event brought together over 100 groups from the sector to shape a new sustainable food strategy for Greater Manchester.
With the mayoral election fast approaching, we've sent the draft strategy to the candidates, asking them to respond to five priorities identified, which we believe will go along way to making Manchester a Sustainable Food City.
Join us this Spring in preparation for the new growing season.
As Spring begins we are starting to ramp up our trips out to local organic farms. So if you'd like a day out helping out on local farms are are free on these upcoming dates, then get intouch.
Land Army Dates:
Saturday 18th March – to Abbey Leys in Cheshire.
Thursday 13th April – to Woodbank Nursery in Stockport.
Saturday 15th April – to Abbey Leys in Cheshire.
Monday 24th April – to Abbey Leys in Cheshire.
It's always very tempting to write an article about the hugely inspiring Oxford Real Farming Conference the second we get on the train home. Each year, we return to report on the exciting talks we heard, the inspiring people we meet, the workshops we spoke at and the fringe sessions we organised.
Not this time.
Veg Box People workers co-operative is part of the Kindling family, one of the enterprises we’ve incubated and supported in our quest to transform Manchester's food system. From tiny beginnings just 18 months ago, the co-op now provides organic veg bags to 125 customers each week, and is seeking a highly motivated new co-op member to join its committed, multi-tasking team.
Each week they are selling around £800 of organic veg, that wasn’t being grown last year! They have also increased the number of collection points.
Our FarmStart programme is the UK’s very first incubator initiative for organic farmers, providing training, affordable access to land, infrastructure, shared equipment and a ready market. This year we’ve got three new FarmStarters spread over two sites who are about to get stuck into their first ever season of organic veg production on a commercial scale. They'll be documenting their unique experiences over the growing season as they get to grips with creating new land-based livelihoods, so watch this space...
For some Valentine’s Day is a reminder to tell those we love how much they mean to us. For others it’s another commercial invention to make us spend more money. Either way, we thought it would be great to do something different this year – and we’d like to invite you to join us.
This Valentine’s day we’re going to take the opportunity to love our local farmers: we want to tell the people who are out in the fields, come rain or shine growing our lovely local organic veg, just how much we appreciate them.
Karen Hughes is an organic grower in Morayshire, Scotland, and runs the brilliant Roots, Fruits and Leaves box scheme. Earlier this year she took part in our ‘How to set up a FarmStart’ training and is scoping the potential for replicating our Land Army scheme north of the border...