Press Release: 5 October 2015
Huxham’s Cross Community Farm gets off the ground
We invite you to celebrate the launch of a groundbreaking new project
Public Launch: 10 October 2015
The new Huxham’s Cross Farm in Dartington, the stunning result of a community share offer from the Biodynamic Land Trust (BDLT), will have a public launch on Saturday 10 October (4pm) at Dartington Village Hall.
The resident farmer (and tenant of the BDLT), Marina O’Connell, has previously created success with The Apricot Centre in North Essex. Over 34 acres at Huxham’s Cross Farm, Marina will draw on a rich tool box of biodynamic, organic, permacultural and agro-ecological methods to regenerate bare land.
The launch is an open door invitation for all interested in celebrating how this inspiring project came to fruition and in learning how it aims to develop a community-connected, educational farm, orchard and market garden.
Says Marina O’Connell:
‘The farm is a new co-operatively owned project, belonging to the community, managed and run by the Apricot Centre team. It weaves together biodynamic farming and permaculture design to grow local sustainable and delicious food whilst supporting wildlife. We will offer experiences and training to children and people from all walks of life. “Changing the food system one carrot at a time” is what it’s all about, whilst having a good time in nature.’
Martin Large, BDLT Director, will explain at the launch how the community raised the £220,000 capital needed to buy 34 acres of land on the Dartington estate. He says:
‘Huxham’s Cross Farm gives Totnes people the opportunity to invest in their own community for food security, real family farming and a living, working countryside. This farm will become a beautiful green oasis at the heart of the community.’
Says Rhodri Samuel, The Dartington Hall Trust CEO:
‘The Apricot Centre at Huxham’s Cross Farm is great news for Dartington. What Marina is planning goes against the grain of conventional agriculture and fits in perfectly with our focus on experimenting with different farming and business models on the estate. It will provide an exceptional educational resource for the community.’
All representatives of the venture will be present at the launch, together with local poet Matt Harvey as a special guest. Residents, locals and leading professionals in the field have praised the venture:
This farm is a brilliant demonstration of how restoring and enhancing the ecological fertility of land can have huge social and economic benefits for local communities. Re-localising our economies around sustainably productive land, as is the case with Huxham’s Cross Farm, can help provide food security while providing education, training and job opportunities for local people.
–Molly Scott Cato, South West MEP
Marina O’Connell is a horticulturalist who knows the Dartington soil well and can make this land flourish again.
–Wendy Cook, Dartington resident
Marina O’Connell and her team have more than 25 years’ successful experience of creating exceptional farms… They are skilled in communicating the concepts of a vibrant local food movement to differing audiences in a variety of ways. Those who know her are eager to welcome her back home.
–Anne Phillips, Founding Director of Schumacher College and Dartington resident
I am excited and encouraged by The Apricot Centre’s wish to create this biodynamic farm – it represents huge faith on their part in the local economy. Their multi-use model, blending farming with education, and valued added food processing, is the result of many years’ experience and will be a valuable addition to local food systems.’
–Naresh Giangrande, Totnes Transition Network
Schumacher College welcomes the addition of a biodynamic farm to the growing cluster of innovative farming approaches developing around Totnes. Our students will benefit greatly from the research and training opportunities which the new farm will offer.’
–Tim Crabtree, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Schumacher College
This farm connects purposefully with the original aims and objectives of the Elmhirsts. For the earth to flourish in diversity and productivity stewarded by sensitive, intelligent humans, is entirely congruent with the Elmhirsts’ vision for a sustainable world. As a local resident, I’ll be delighted when Apricot gets going.
–Chris Salisbury, Huxham’s Cross resident
This community purchase of land for people and wildlife-friendly farming is the best way to change the world radically. Go for it!
–Colin and Ruth Tudge, Campaign for Real Farming
Notes to Editors
- The Huxham’s Cross Farm Launch will take place on Saturday 10 October at 4-6pm, Dartington Village Hall, Cott Road, TQ9 6HY, preceded by a farm walk, gathering at Meadowbrook Car Park at 1.30pm.
- See www.biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk for more information and a downloadable Huxham’s Cross Farm Share Prospectus. See www.apricotcentre.org.uk for more information about the Apricot Centre and Marina O’Connell’s work.
- For further information: contact Martin Large, Biodynamic Land Trust, 07765 006829; email@example.com or Marina O Connell, 07780 757958; firstname.lastname@example.org . Photos available on request from Marina O’Connell (pictured below).
- The Dartington Hall Trust uses its landed estate to support creative, resilient communities to make positive social change. We create jobs and build homes, support regional food production and farming, and enrich lives through the arts. Our enterprise activities fund what we do and include the Shops at Dartington, a conference centre with accommodation and the award-winning White Hart restaurant and bar. For more information, visit www.dartington.org and follow on Facebook and @Dartington on Twitter or call 01803 847026