Diss community farm plans begin to sprout

Green-fingered residents in the Diss area could soon benefit from more locally grown fruit and veg after plans were unveiled for a community farm scheme.

A public meeting will take place next month for the initiative, which could see the creation of the facility on an area of land near the town.

Currently, there are around 50 community-supported agriculture (CSA) projects across the country with residents growing their own food and cutting down their food miles.

The Diss Community Farm is the idea of mother-of-three Angela Lamb who is hoping to get around 40 like-minded people together to get the project off the ground.

The Roydon resident, who had the idea 12 months ago, said she had already secured a provisional offer from Adrian Bloom, of Blooms of Bressingham, who suggested an eight-acre field between Roydon and Bressingham to rent. She added that there was the possibility of using three quarters of an acre in Roydon.

Mrs Lamb said the scheme was in its early days, but it was 'exciting' and 'inspiring' to think that residents could have more of a say over local food production.

'The difference to a community allotment scheme is that if we can get enough people to start it, we could employ a grower and we would not have to do all the work ourselves. Most people do not have the time, but if we have a grower, it makes it much more appealing and I think a lot of people will get involved.

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'We want to be more sustainable. There is a feeling we have plenty of farms in the area, but it is quite hard to get farm produce. If you go to some farm shops it is hard to get local vegetables, certainly in Diss,' she said.

The first meeting to set up the 'Diss Food Community' will take place at 3pm on Sunday, February 13 at Roydon Village Hall.

Members of the community farm would get a say in what they grow and a share of the weekly produce and have the option of joining farm work days.

Mrs Lamb added that the focus would be on quality organic produce with no artificial fertilisers or pesticides and would create a new opportunity for local people to socialise and make friends. She added that the organisation would also seek out local suppliers of bread, milk, cheeses, meat, honey, wholefoods, and prepared foods to join the movement. Similar schemes are active in Norwich and Ipswich.

For more information, visit the website at dissfoodcommunity.wordpress.com or contact Angela Lamb at disscommunityfarm@yahoo.co.uk or 01379 641878.