Help us change the world, one biodynamic farm at a time!
Patrick Holden writes that, ‘The Biodynamic Land Trust meets the urgent need for enabling farmers to gain access to land without the crippling burden of debt, and help build sustainable food systems. ’ The BDLT is delighted that so many people and organisations are helping secure 34 acres of farmland at Dartington, Devon, for the new Huxham’s Cross Biodynamic Farm. Final legal negotiations are being conducted, but we hope these will concluded by the end of February The BDLT plans to lease the land to Marina O’ Connell & team of the Apricot Centre, the new farmer and grower. They will develop a community connected market garden, orchard and small mixed farm.
One challenge will be to use Biodynamics to restore soil fertility. Another will be to create a new farm from bare land as a green oasis at the heart of the community. Marina O’Connell and the Apricot Centre look forward to working practically with local members of the community and with local biodynamic members, as the conversion to Demeter, farm design and infrastructure development may take up to five years. Rome wasnt built in a day! The farm location is beautiful, with views towards Totnes. The land is near the South Devon Rudolf Steiner School at Hood Manor, near to Schumacher College, and abuts a cycle path and links with footpaths from Totnes.
How will the BDLT secure the land? So far, 125 people have become BDLT shareholders by investing £94,300 in community shares towards the purchase of the Huxham’s land and £ 3,754 in gifts. People have made short term interest free loans of £61,500, and there is a £100,000 loan from a friendly foundation. This leaves a ‘gap’ of £50,344 to be met we hope by more gifts and community shares. So, please consider investing, giving or making a bequest in your will to help the BDLT with this new farm. (Visit the Biodynamic Land Trust website to find out more: www.biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Martin Large of the BDLT on 07765 006829)
Farm Design Workshops: Two open farm design workshops are planned at Dartington on April 10-12 and May 29-31. Participants will co-design the layout of the farm, choosing what food to produce where, where to site buildings and access. Marina O’Connell draws on Biodynamics, agronomy, agro-ecology and permaculture design. These workshops will help anyone considering their garden, market garden and farm design process, as well as local people wanting to help design the farm. (See www.apricotcentre.co.uk) Informed by these workshops, Marina O’Connell & team will develop the farm. Work expected in 2015 includes the building of basic infrastructure: barn, access, installation of services – water and electricity and green manures. In winter 2015 Apricot will plant fruit trees and soft fruit, and trees for wind-breaks and fuel.