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02 Jun Progress on our Proposed CSA Project
In May we successfully applied to the GREAT CSA Incubator Project. The Gloucestershire Regenerative Environmental Agricultural Transition (GREAT) Project centres on working with farmers and growers in Gloucestershire on three streams of work: building evidence, sharing knowledge and nurturing enterprise. The GREAT programme, is a collaborative initiative focusing on Gloucestershire, looking to create a secure and sustainable food system that builds from the ground level. The aim is to move towards a regenerative system that rebuilds soils, habitats, landscapes and communities. The GREAT project is funded by Thirty Percy; an innovative and forward-thinking foundation with a particular focus on sustainability and societal inclusion within Gloucestershire.
The CSA Incubator Project provides mentoring and support for CSA startups. This takes the form of online sessions offering help on business and financial planning as well as visits to existing CSA’s to learn to do’s and don’ts from experienced growers and managers. We have already visited FarmEd and Stroud Community sites from which we have learned so much. Every CSA operates differently so we are keen to see as many as possible before we decide a structure that best suits us here at Hampen.
We have earmarked a level piece of land adjoining the grain shed alongside a public road as the site for our CSA and have discussed our proposal with Cotswold AONB. With effective hedging & tree planting to screen the necessary polytunnels (as well as provide wildlife benefits), the site was met with enthusiasm. We will also be able to apply for grants to help in the setting up costs of the CSA under the new ‘Farming in Protected Landscapes’ initiative linking our project to The Cotswold AONB Management Plan. It feels like our project is beginning to take shape and we are so grateful for the interest and support we have had so far. We are looking forward to growing seasonable vegetables and herbs for our local communities. We wish to engage with local schools and youth groups to help educate people in the importance of local, sustainably grown food, healthier and better for the planet. In time we are planning a pop up Saturday shop to offer local eggs, dairy and meat from neighbouring farming enterprises. Anyone wishing to set up a free range mobile hen business to follow behind our sheep please get in touch!