Invitation to invest in a community farm

One of the Biodynamic Land Trust’s projects, Oakbrook Community Farm has launched a Pioneer Share Offer seeking community investment for key infrastructure.

Since the community purchased the 41 acres just outside Stroud through the Land Trust in 2015, Oakbrook Community Farm has developed from bare land into a cluster of farm enterprises. The farm is leased from the Land Trust and the recently formed Oakbrook Community Benefit Society (OCBS) is taking forward the farm’s development.

Oakbrook is currently home to: Stroud Micro Dairy; Stroud Community Agriculture’s Starter Farm; Ellie’s Eggs; the Bee Observatory; and ZeroDig research market garden. The farm is Demeter certified organic and in conversion to biodynamic.

Farmers Kees Frederiks and Alice Frederiks-Planel say, “Our desired future for Oakbrook Community Farm is a family of land-based enterprises producing good food, education and community services, in harmony with nature for and with Stroud people.”

Pioneer share offer

Starting from bare land comes with its challenges and temporary measures are in place, to enable the farmers to work effectively, OCBS urgently seeks investment to improve the basic infrastructure. This would cover: tracks for animals and people; services such as electricity; a barn with food processing and storage facilities; and obtaining the necessary planning permissions for these developments. Community access is also required for customers, members, volunteers, families and children.

The first step is to raise £247,000. This consists of the following:

  1. £8,500 for planning;
  2. £73,000 for farm tracks;
  3. £11,500 for fundraising and OCBS core costs and project management;
  4. £154,000 for Barn 1.

However, as OCBS says, this is not just an investment in tracks, utilities and barns. It is an opportunity to invest in a regenerative community farm hub that brings together enterprising people to produce good local food.

The Share Offer opened  on 31 January and closes on 16 March 2020. Minimum investment is £200 for 200 one pound withdrawable community shares.

For more information see the OCBS website.

Tom Brenan
Operations Manager, Biodynamic Land Trust

Published by