Veg Pilot Project – Winfarthing

Plans are now coming together for the pilot growing project using David Mitchell’s land in Winfarthing.  He has generously offered a strip of a field free of charge to enable us to get started immediately.

Gabbi Reid has agreed to be our grower for this part of the project, she is an experienced grower who has been running her own business, Salad Patch for the past four years.  She will work on a self employed basis, one day a week.  She plans to begin work on 28th March.

Understandably David does not want people walking through the middle of his busy farm, so he has arranged access to the field with the pub through the recycling area at the rear.  Also a maximum of 3 cars can park in the pub car park and none on a Sunday as it needed for those attending football matches.

Gabbi has drawn up a list of what will probably be grown on the site –Vegetable list – sowing and harvesting times.  Given more time we would have consulted you on what you wanted to be grown, but time marches on and seeds need to be ordered and sown.

At the moment we have no funds to get the pilot project off the ground.  Jeff Lamb is drafting a constitution so that we can register our organisation, this will enable us to apply for the South Norfolk Neighbourhood Fund to help with our start up costs.  But until then I’ve listed some of the resources that we will need to get started – fleece, membrane, chicken wire, netting, wooden posts and compost, can anyone help with any of these things?  We will also need to buy seed and pay Gabbi for her time. If you are able to make a donation, or would be prepared to pay for your share of veg up front then this would be a big help at this stage of the project.

We need to know how many people would like to be involved in the veg growing pilot; at the moment we are estimating that somewhere between 20-25 veg shares could be grown on the land, we’ll have a clearer idea once we have an accurate measurement of the size. Once we have that information we will be able to work out what to charge for weekly veg shares, (at the moment we have made very rough estimates of somewhere between £7 and £10 per week, as soon as we’re more clear on this we’ll let you know the costs).

We are planning to have every 3rd Saturday of the month as a farm work day where you can come along and get involved in tending the veg.  These should be fun occasions where you spend time with friends, work together and have lunch together.  Dates for the first few Farm work days are as follows: Sat 16th April, 21st May, 18th June, 16th July. Gabbi will also work every Monday at the site in Winfarthing and would love to have members come along and help.  There will also be a farm work day on Sat 26th March to get started.

Remember this is a pilot project, it’s an opportunity for us to learn and get a better understanding of how to run Diss Community Farm.  You can be sure that not everything will go according to plan and we will make some mistakes, but if you get involved I’m confident that you will have fun, make some good friends, learn some new skills and get some great fresh veg.

Email me (Ange) disscommunityfarm@yahoo.co.uk and I can start to make a list of who would like to be part of the pilot project.  It would be good if several of the core team and their supporting teams could be involved so they can see how it’s working in practice and help us to learn from the mistakes, so when we’re fully up and running next year we hopefully won’t make the same mistakes again!  Please get in touch if you think you can help us with any of the above, or if you’ve got plenty of time to join in with the practical work.

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