The biodynamic movement has amongst its number one of the most amazing farm hubs in the UK. Tablehurst Farm in the Sussex is around 700 acres, supports the equivalent of 40 full time jobs and provides educational resources and a community focal point as well as biodynamic food, biodiversity building and community ownership. The Biodynamic Land Trust’s Bramletye Fields are part of Tablehurst Farm.
Tablehurst has taken many years to grow to this size but the aim of our A Community Farms for Every Community project is to bring about projects that can develop along these same lines.
We launched our campaign at the Oxford Real Farming Conference 2017. Click here to find out why we think the land is the well-spring of well-being and why farms owned by the community are so important and so badly needed.
The Biodynamic Land Trust wants to change communities for the better through building active farm hubs. However, we absolutely can’t do this alone! We are running this projects as a “collabatory” in which we invite broad participation and see our role as curating and facilitating the conversations and working groups that are needed.
The holistic biodynamic approach brings to the forefront the multiple positive impacts that land has on people. Whether that is the educational work at Ruskin Mill or the community co-working at Camphill, the biodynamic perspective makes it clear that land is the well-spring of our well-being.
In recent years Tablehurst Farm has been demonstrating how a fundamentally different approach to land brings immeasurable benefits. Where normally a 700 acre farm under intensive agribusiness regime might employ as few as 3 people, the biodynamic regime at Tablehurst, sensitive to its community context, supports, as mentioned above, a plethora of micro-enterprises and the equivalent of over 40 full time jobs. This community owned farm sits at the heart of life in Forest Row, and the total earned by everyone there far exceeds the owners profit of an equivalent agribusiness on the same area.
At the beginning of any land-based story is the struggle to gain access to land, and it is the Biodynamic Land Trust’s task to try to solve that problem. It is our job to bring land into community ownership – what we call stewardship – so that other people can come together to build vibrant community enterprises that can support us with better and more sustainable food; more jobs; more security; more biodiversity; land based education; support for vulnerable adults; community festivals; sequestration of carbon and so on!