Nearly 100 people squeezed into Roydon Village Hall yesterday, for the first meeting of the Diss Community Farm, to learn about the project and have their say. We had only set up tables and chairs for half that number, and found we kept having to add more chairs as the numbers kept rising. The excitement and enthusiasm were very evident.
Adrian Bloom, of Bressingham Gardens and Blooms of Bressingham welcomed the gathering. We are negotiating with him to rent a field on Freezen Hill, between Roydon and Bressingham.
Then Angela Lamb and Gary Alexander gave talks explaining how the project might work. Angela described several well-established community supported agriculture projects, as similar examples and explained how our farm might work. Gary described how the Diss Community Farm could form the cornerstone of a Diss Food Community, a partnership between consumers and various other local providers to provide a rich local diet. People would collect food weekly at pickup points around Diss, which would also be social events.
You can see the slides for both talks below, as a 2 minute YouTube movie. (You have to be quick with the stop button to look at any one slide.)
After a short break for tea, coffee and some delicious home-made cakes, the group split into small groups to discuss the project, and what they wanted to see. We found that were a lot of people who wanted to take on the various roles: as consumers: buying the produce, as helpers with the growing, transporting, organising, as producers (various gardeners, smallholders and cooks/caterers were present), or even as investors, providing start up money. Quite a few were willing to put up the first year’s food costs in advance to help the project start. We agreed that putting in a few hours regular help should be an option, not compulsory.
The next meeting will be on:
Friday, 4th March, at 7:30 pm at Roydon Village Hall
We agreed it will be a shared meal, so bring a plate of something to eat or something to drink, and we guarantee you will find a feast.