Communigrow - East Malling CSA Kent
Since 2011 Communigrow has grown from 1/3rd acre for community groups to 5 acres this coming year. Using a Community Supported Agriculture' model of production and supply we use sustainable techniques and expanding habitats to explore and develop new localised systems for Kent.
Our new project starts in July 2014 and we welcome members to help this progress
“Our goal is not to grow food for the whole world. It’s to grow really good food for 179 families.”
(The Lexicon of sustainability)
EAST MALLING COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
An invite to anyone within a few miles of East Malling to come along and be involved in our new CSA on 5 acres at East Malling Research.
Growing veg for the people of Ditton, Larkfield and the Mallings.
Also lots of other interests such as ethnic crops, cut flowers, hops and curious crops such as linseed and soya beans and many more.
All grown using sustainable techniques and expanding habitats which include Organics, Biodynamics, Permaculture, Natural (localised) Agriculture and more. Our aim is to highlight the intervention and impact of modern (primarily chemically based) farming methods on the quality of food and the eco-system we depend upon.
Please note. Access to our plot is restricted and so visitors are strictly by invitation and arrangement only. Thanks
Membership and Communigrow ‘Skill Share’
As ‘Share’ members or supporters from £1 per month. Share members get a box of seasonal produce each week on subscription. Supporters may buy the veg they want at prices starting from £8 a ‘box’.
Share members will want to be involved so we ask for a minimum of 1 hour per month working on sowing, harvest, preparation or packing alongside our specialist team of growers and apprentices. ‘Skills share’ events for everyone on and off the plot through events and workshops in the community
What is a ‘Community Supported Agriculture’?
CSA’s are successful in many parts of the UK and in the USA and the concept of direct community involvement in local farms is nothing new, being championed in the UK by the Soil Association and The Plunkett Foundation. A ‘CSA’ brings local people directly into farming and growing as a key part of the production to consumer process rather than purely as a consumer trade making it a rewarding and educational experience coupled with savings for all involved.
All our produce is grown using organic methods and we use a variety of techniques from Bio-dynamics to ‘Natural Agriculture’. Our garden provides seasonal veg, herbs & spices, unusual ‘ethnic’ crops and craft plants including cut flowers, hops and aromatic oils. All good, healthy produce for people who may otherwise not consider this currently. We encourage a healthier diet of fresh food targeting lower income families, unskilled people and older generations and our aim is to get as many people as possible to contribute in some way in the growing which should bring health benefits of an active lifestyle.
To this goal we continue the work on the ground to create a productive yet bio-diverse landscape.
Forming a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation is essential to take on all operations to create more awareness of our project and encourage membership, enabling us to employ local people on our growing team. Once we have this with active members and our team have the produce we shall consider the role we may contribute to more specialist educational and training work on and off the plot in the community.
A background to our project
2 years ago student nurse Louise and ‘Joining Hands’ approached East Malling Research with the idea of growing some food, a place for locals to join together to have a community allotment. They said yes and so Communigrow was born with a huge expanse of a hectare that was probably too ambitious for allotments alone, so one corner, about half an acre was mapped, cultivated and a polytunnel and store put up.
So since then 70 or more people have helped and with considerable fun, pain and produce.
We now want to develop and feed more local people creating local employment and helping the planet with our team of dedicated growers and helpers.