Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm

LAND Region: 
EnglandEast of England
LAND Project Type: 
LAND Centre

The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm is to the East of Ipswich in Suffolk. Our aim is to create a financially viable and environmentally sustainable farm producing a plentiful and diverse supply of nutritious food for the community of people that works on the land.
By teaching and demonstrating how this can be done we hope to encourage others to do the same. We are a not-for-profit social enterprise run as a Community Interest Company (CIC).

The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm is 12 acres in size, comprising vegetable beds for our community supported agriculture scheme members, low carbon cut flowers, a sizable forest garden (currently being established), digging pigs fed on legal waste food, pastured chickens and geese, and in early 2014, pastured beef cattle. We seek new members from time to time, please visit our website for details of how to visit the farm.

Number of people text: 
Joanne Mudhar is the main project coordinator
The Oak Tree began as a 12 acre field covered in wheat stubble left from a conventionally grown crop. My first act was to plant clover/grass fertility building manure on one half and a nitrogen fixing orchard ground cover green manure on the other half – this left a blank sheet. I have then observed the site and slowly developed different activities according to the characteristics of different parts of the field, taking into account the needs & interests of members of the community who have got involved with the farm, while also taking into account local residents and resident wildlife. My first project, on the best protected part of the field was the vegetable growing enterprise to gain revenue and to generate immediate community interest. With members of Transition Ipswich we are planting a commercial forest garden this year on a more “remote” (from the entrance) part of the site, with the possibility of a new entrance to that part of the field once the plants have matured. The community allotments would extend an existing allotment field, so for water and access they make sense there. I will add polytunnels close to the main building as they will need constant attention, I have placed coldframes and comfrey beds close to the veg growing area and generally I have sought to minimise effort and increase efficiency. And by still having a significant part of the field uncultivated, the talents of new people who get involved can be expressed yet more ideas.
Project start date: 
November, 2009
The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm
Playford Lane (not the nearby, and larger, Playford Road) Rushmere St. Andrew
IPSWICH, Suffolk IP5 1DW
United Kingdom
Suffolk GB