We’re plotting to grow more organic food locally!
This year marks the first growing season of a newly established regenerative market-garden called The Plot, with two sites – located at Old Holly Barn Farm and a poly tunnel at White Lund. The Plot also serves as a training ground for new sustainable farmers through a programme called ‘FarmStart’. All with the intention of supporting future farmers and to supply local, fresh, organic produce in North Lancashire.
More details about FarmStart and The Plot can be found on www.The-Plot.uk
Paula is a FarmStarter in the 2021 cohort, she shared her story with us.
My name is Paula and I currently live in Blackpool, but it was the time I lived on the Isle of Skye with a taste of hands-on practical experience in crofting, where a love for working on the land was birthed. I felt it had become very much a part of me. At that time, it was through shepherding; however, over many years since then, I have dreamed of a smallholding. Using the small patio space I have had for the past 12 years here, I have grown a few herbs, flowers, fruit, shrubs and veggies, all in containers. I hadn’t thought about doing it commercially until recently. I wondered if that could really ever work.
A smallholding course at Myerscough those 12 years ago fuelled my desire even more, yet due to life’s circumstances and having to raise two boys alone, the opportunity to do anything more than a container-type patio growing had been put on hold. Until now!
The FarmStart opportunity seemed to have come at the perfect time as my boys are older, and the pandemic means that the travelling I usually do quite regularly for work will not be going ahead this year. I really feel now that this is the prefect season in life to put the dream into reality; getting the practical skills for what an organic market garden plot looks like and be a part of it too.! It is so exciting!
I am absolutely loving the time spent in field and poly-tunnel. The lectures and hands-on teachings of the practical skills have been astounding. There are so many things to do, grow, maintain, establish, record, plan and eventually harvest to get hands into and get excited about!! And I’m so grateful to be working alongside like-minded amazing people, and though I know they have much more experience than I do, I feel we are all learning together.
It really is a dream come true! I still can’t believe it! To learn how to work with Creation, in relationship, respecting and nurturing it so in return it nurtures us. Experiencing the challenges, the ups and downs, the joys; when to work in season, to be quicker or to be patient. So much more to learn!
I trust the FarmStart program will continue to give me the knowledge and confidence to step out myself and see a hopeful future in farming.
We need your help to establish these growing projects. Can you spare £5 per month? Become a FoodFriend through our small-scale society lottery scheme and you could win one of six prizes every month. Your monthly membership fee supports the establishment of The Plot, training for FarmStarters AND supports local businesses who we purchase the prizes from.
New FoodFriends sign up here.