Communigrow took on the Ditton plot of 2 acres in 2011 as a ‘not for profit’ to benefit young people and families interested in growing their own produce. Towards these aims we grow food under our new charity, a structure of a ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ model and the entire field of nearly 6 acres framed with a focus on education and learning experience in all that we do on the field and in the community.
With a minimal pledge we can cover the expenses on seeds and materials and what may be essential this season and build resources for the future.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Our members and beneficiaries may be anyone living locally to the plot. We help lower income families, unskilled people and older generations. Forming a growing team of 2 full time paid and four part time workers directly from the local community. Also there's a need for training and social inclusion provision with potential for expansion of enterprises.
Our team of growers can produce more and bring members into the process through learning events. They will be both learners and teachers developing skills, eating fresh, nutritious vegetables and fruit, healthier food, experience conservation and creation of natural habitats to exhibit best practice in farming and, through their involvement in the community, directly develop an innovative social enterprise not currently operating.
The active and social lifestyle will be a boost for all involved.
Steps to get it done:
It is through good practice that we aim to achieve a broad scope of engagement for all involved. Part of this is our reward for any pledge of support over £10 and a range of seasonal vegetables and produce according to level of support over £30.
Key to the longer term viability of the market garden is the CSA to run the plot and create the essential community membership. This new charity structure will run all the cultivations and employ the growing team, provide the facilities for linking with the community through promotion of membership and field sessions and install the skills share and courses on site and in the community.
In future we aim to extend our scope through community events and this is an exciting part of our larger role in the area. People will join us with a common ambition to source good quality local food and experience gardening that may influence them for the rest of their lives.
About the space
East Malling Research Centre, views of the Kent Weald
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council ME19 4LZ