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Farm Dragons!

Over the last two years The Community Farm has been building a partnership with our local secondary school, Chew Valley School, and with some excitement, this year we embarked on a new way of working with them.  

The school identified a whole year group that could benefit from learning more about The Farm during their Aspire curriculum that is designed to allow students in KS3 (11-14 years old) to gain access to leadership development, study skills, business and enterprise skills and learning about careers.   

We tasked the classes to research how we could sell more fruit, vegetables and groceries in the Chew Valley. In the final session we hosted a Dragon's Den type session, inviting the best group in each class to come in and tell us about their ideas. 

It was a freezing morning, but we lit the stove in the yurt and got cosy in there as we were bowled over by the creativity, enthusiasm and eloquence of each of the eight groups. They presented to four 'dragons': new Management Committee member Naomi Kent, our Food and Farming Manager, John Miller, our Engagement Lead, Emmy Wurmli, and myself.  We awarded two 'best idea' awards and two 'best presentation' awards and the best ideas will now be considered by the rest of the Senior Team over the next few months for their viability. From soup recipe boxes to customer surveys and customised boxes there were plenty of brilliant ideas to explore. Naomi said:

"As a new Management Committee member, it has been great to be able to use my skills in research to feed into a project on this scale, especially in the school that my children went to.  The students were hugely impressive, with really great ideas, and it was a pleasure to hear their presentations and give them some feedback"

Alongside this project we have also hosted two 'fork to fork' sessions for Year 10 Food Technology students to learn more about how their food is grown and how to get creative with seasonal produce; and two sessions for Year 10 students who struggle to engage with the regular school day.  

This project has been funded through DEFRA's Farming in Protected Landscapes programme and has been a great new partnership for The Farm.  I have worked with many schools over the years and am so impressed with the students and staff at Chew Valley.  We are delighted that The Farming in Protected Landscapes team at the Mendip Hills AONB have just awarded us with further funding to continue our work in 2024-5 and can't wait to get going.

Thanks to Mrs Rowlands, Mrs Bainbridge and Mrs Saxton alongside all the other staff and students, and Megan Godley and Lucy Stockton and their colleagues at the Mendip Hills AONB.

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We deliver to Bristol, Bath, Chew Valley, Weston-Super-Mare, Frome and plenty of places in-between!