Community Garden Project

 

ESK VALLEY CAMPHILL COMMUNITY GARDEN PROJECT  

A Camphill Shared Lives Communities Ltd project lead by the Land Group of the Esk Valley Camphill Community.

Vision

The vision is to create a model close to that of Community Supported Agriculture which consists of a partnership between growers and consumers where the risks and awareness are equally shared. People from the locality will be invited join it as well as those who live further afield and who all believe in the idea behind it.
We see tremendous value in having an open space for Camphill Co-workers, adults with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues, volunteers from the locality as well as from further away and abroad.
We strongly believe in Biodynamics as a way to live with the Land. We are looking to develop associative partnerships with the Seed Cooperative, a new independent BD project, and the Health Shop in Danby.

 

Aims

– to create awareness about the connections between humans and food and the way in which we can grow healthy crops

– to produce food biodynamically

– to provide the EVCC houses with our produce

– to supply the Danby Health shop with vegetables and eggs 

– to offer meaningful work for volunteers and those with learning disabilities 

– to offer a variety of different jobs in order to meet the complex needs of some of our residents

– to create a community hub where people work together guided also by passions for food, plants and animals

– to create an educational hub through the work of the land and a closer connection with nature

– to provide biodynamic training

Market Garden and Seeds 

We aim to grow into a space of about 3 acres including the orchard plots and also the soft fruit bushes. 
Alongside and combined with the vegetable production we plan to collaborate with the Seed-Coop, the UK community-owned seed company committed to breeding open pollinated seeds, growing some of the crops also for seeds.
This kind of production would also give some indoor work with packaging and sorting seeds for the winter time and when the weather doesn’t allow outdoor work. This is of particular importance in a Community in which people with complex needs are involved.
We shall grow about 30 different kinds of crops plus fruits such pears, apples, plums, currants, berries, nuts.

Poultry

In order to provide a more complete variety of food to the community we plan to work with about 80 laying hens.
This is a number worked out in order to supply the whole community and the Danby Health Shop. At the moment the demand from Community and the shop’s customers is of about 45 eggs per day. 
Introducing animals in the farm organism is also another way to vary the jobs for different groups of people on top of providing fertility through their manure. The hens will also constitute a valuable management tool for the soil, working with rotations and moving them around the land according to the needs of the ground.
The combination of plants and animals will already start to give a sense of a more self-sustainable farm organism.

Marketing Plan

The basic idea is that the households within the community will pay a subscription in advance to the Garden enterprise in order to have a supply of vegetables and eggs throughout the year. With this we already then have an initial investment from the members of the Community who therefore carry the risk of this community enterprise.

The Team

The team of land workers will be formed by volunteers from the Esk Valley Camphill community – Co-workers, adults with learning disabilities, short-term volunteers and in the longer term, a biodynamic apprentice. 

Capital Investment. Total £ 20,000

Tractor

£  8000

Implements

£  3000

Polytunnel

£  3000

Spanish tunnel

£  1000

Irrigation

£  1000

Seed trays

£    250

Boxes

£    250

Fences

£    500

Fleeces and mesh

£    250

Hoops

£    250

Silage tarp

£    200

Hand tools

£    300

                         Total 

£18,000

Chicken house

£ 1000

Solar battery

£   200

Electric fences

£   200

Feeders

£   100

Watering devices

£   100

Hens

£   400

                        Total 

£ 2,000

Background

The EVCC is a newly-founded Camphill community in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors. We are ca. 80 people, of all ages and abilities, who have chosen to live and work together in this way.
We share our homes and our lives. The elderly person, the busy working adult and the small child each has their own place within the community, and we are all enriched by our daily interactions.
There are typically around six to ten people living in each household. The household is comprised of two to three people who have a learning disability, one or two Co-workers (with their family or children) and a short-term volunteer, usually from abroad, some of whom will train as support carers.
The majority of Co-workers in the community are Shared Lives carers registered with the Avalon Group, responsible for providing support services commissioned by the local authority. Short-term volunteers typically spend six months to a year in the community. Everyone is a part of and makes a contribution to the running of the house community and to making it a happy home, and a therapeutic and healing space.
The community garden offers a variety of different jobs in connection with nature and food production. The actual and physical work in the garden will be complemented by homemaking and other indoor jobs such as sorting and packing seeds and herbs.