A new home for community hub Norwich Farmshare could soon be confirmed with two sites on the table
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015
The future home of Norwich FarmShare – the community sustainable farming project – could be confirmed in the coming weeks.
As part of a feasibility study funded by a grant of £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund last year, the team has now narrowed down its options to two 1.5 acre sites in the vicinity of the city.
And in a series of meetings in the next two months, Norwich FarmShare hopes to select either Easton and Otley College, or Intwood Carr, in Cringleford.
In 2010 the group set up on a five- acre site at Postwick, but in 2015 was served notice by the owner of the land, who wanted to reclaim it.
The project stopped harvesting vegetables at the site near the Postwick Park and Ride in June 2016.
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During the transition period it has worked with local organic producers Eves Hill Veg Co, From the Earth, Hughes Organics and Arthur's Organics to provide fresh organic vegetables for members each week. It also has produce from a small plot farmed by one of the FarmShare growers.
After a public appeal for land, 12 offers were made on sites in and around the city. Now two 1.5 acre sites, one six miles from the city centre at Easton and Otley, and the other 4.5 miles out at Cringleford, have been selected.
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As part of the feasibility study co-ordinator Rosalind Bacon wrote that the previous 7.5 acre site had been 'far too large for two part-time growers'.
'We were unable to properly care for the soil, the plants or those involved,' she said. 'In contrast, at a new site we are wanting to start small, creating efficient, effective systems ensuring productivity, ecological care and avoiding burn-out.
'Depending on the size of the new site, FarmShare could look very different – a more educational focus and growing high-value perishable crops on a smaller site to a more traditional looking community-supported agriculture model on a larger site.'
A meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 18 when members will discuss which site to proceed with.