About Us

 

Our 2011 Harvest Festival

After attending the Harvest Festival on 17th September, our Chair, David Hunter, wrote this:

The Farm itself is looking wondrous in the watery morning sun – (there is a separate piece to be written on the difference naming can make to our perception of things, whether rows of brassicas or pictures in a gallery). Today though, it the people at the farm that prove even more uplifting than the smell of the basil, the kids’ shrieks of delight at the skittering piglets or taste of the Story Group’s smoked sausages.

As the day progresses, more and more conversations demonstrate the shared values that underpin this venture. There are many nuances to this: for some it is knowing that fresh, organically grown food is being grown in the locality; others focus on the potential educational benefits from getting people out to the farm, teaching new skills and knowledge to children and adults alike; others still celebrate the attempts to minimise the use of fossil fuels in the food’s growth and distribution. It all comes together in a celebration of having created something special, not just for us and those in the vicinity now, but a potential legacy for future generations and a model others can replicate elsewhere.

Cycling back to Bristol I reflect on how I can encourage friends and neighbours, work colleagues and networks, to become part of our growing community. I reflect that membership can be secured for £50. That is life membership for the cost of a meal out. Even if it means sacrificing a romantic night for two, or a family event, either of these can be replicated several times over if you instead use your membership for visits to the farm.

For those lucky enough to be in a position to invest more, but unnerved that there is no guarantee of a financial return on their money, I consider the alternatives. Do I know what my pension is invested in? No idea. I have no relationship with that money and how it is used. I do know I get regular reminders that it hasn’t been performing that well and so I should throw more in that direction, which doesn’t strike me as entirely rational. Property, despite the rebalancing of recent years, still has some way to go to reach a sensible value in proportion to incomes, so is hardly the place for spectacular returns. Gold? If you’d bought from Gordon Brown you’d be laughing, but not at today’s prices.

Maybe it is time to stop frantically chasing the next great deal in financial terms (Icesave, anyone?) and think instead about other value we can secure for our future. Since I became a member of the farm, I have learnt more about growing food than I had in the last forty years (skills I may well need to get through another forty). I have had better exercise than I could have bought from a gym membership. I have eaten more healthily, met many wonderful people and have a warm glow whenever the subject of food comes up, knowing not only that I live in a place that has something as special on The Community Farm on its doorstep but that I am partly responsible for its existence. What other investment gives me all that?

Of course, this demands people changing the way they have been encouraged to think about things. But given how most people feel about a status quo that brought us the financial crisis, MPs’ expenses and the subterfuge of media, police and politics highlighted by the phone hacking scandal, surely now is a good time to give something different a go?

Do we deliver to you?

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