Whilst the Co-op Group sells off the Co-op Farms to global agribusiness against members’ wishes, at Totnes South Devon a community co-op farm buyout for Week Farm will be opened on Saturday 19th July at Dartington Village Hall at 6pm by local councillor Jacqui Hodgson, Mayor of Totnes.
Grower Marina O‘Connell of the Apricot Centre will present how this new family farm will restore soil fertility, grow good organic food, increase biodiversity, enhance the landscape, train apprentices, serve the community, welcome children and be a viable farm business on 36 acres.
Martin Large, director of the Biodynamic Land Trust Community Benefit Society, will launch a £326,000 community share offer to raise the capital needed to buy the land into trust for the Apricot Centre to farm.
The aim is to develop a viable, community connected, educational farm, orchard and market garden that offer a research, learning and demonstration platform. Uniquely, Marina O‘Connell will draw on a rich tool box of biodynamic, organic, permacultural and agro-ecological methods to transform bare land which has grown wheat and maize using nitrates for many years.
“The Week Farm co-op buyout offers people the opportunity to invest in their community’s farming future for healthy food security, in family farming and a living, working countryside. Just as we saved Fordhall Farm in 2006 when 8000 people invested £800,000, so we can secure Week Farm into co-op trusteeship.”
– Martin Large, Biodynamic Land Trust
“Our aim is to create a beautiful, bio-diverse abundant small farm producing fruit, vegetables, eggs, and juices and jams all sold locally. We will offer training and also access to the farm for children to find out about food, both growing it and eating it.”
– Marina O’Connell, farmer, Apricot Centre
“The BDLT meets the urgent need for enabling farmers to gain access to land without the crippling burden of debt, and help build sustainable food systems.”
– Patrick Holden, Director, Sustainable Food Trust
“Marina O’Connell is a horticulturalist who knows the Dartington soil well and can make the Week land flourish again.”
– Wendy Cook, author of the Biodynamic Cookbook, former wife of Peter Cook
“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
“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.