Norwich Farmshare finds new home at city allotments after year long search

The successful FarmShare venture next to Postwick Park & Ride. Growers Rosalind Bacon, right, and Em

The successful FarmShare venture next to Postwick Park & Ride. Growers Rosalind Bacon, right, and Emma Stopford harvest the tomatoes. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

A community sustainable farming project for Norwich has found a new home after a search lasting almost a year.

Norwich Farmshare had been operating from the Postwick Park and Ride since it was set up in 2010, but five years later the landowner served them notice as he wanted to reclaim it.

The group undertook a £10,000 feasibility study to locate a new site, and had narrowed their search down to five options spread around the city.

Now they have announced, following discussions with Norwich City Council, that their new home will be at the Valpy Avenue allotment site, with around one acre set aside for them.

'The area totals around an acre, spread across various plots with several sheds and fruit bushes already in situ,' they said in an update to members. 'The council are keen to have us on the site, as many of the plots have been vacant for some time.'

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To celebrate Farmshare's new home, they will be having a gathering on the new plot this Sunday, April 2, from 1.30pm to 4pm.

'It is a chance to explore the site, catch up with other members and supporters over a shared lunch, and get digging if you feel energised after such a long hiatus,' they added.

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'Some of the plots are overgrown so if anyone has a strimmer they would be happy either to lend us or have a go themselves that would be brilliant. 'We will be borrowing/hiring larger machinery to prepare the land initially over the coming weeks and will share workday dates in due course.'

The project stopped harvesting vegetables at the site near the Postwick Park and Ride in June 2016.

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.

The Farmshare organisers are still hunting for a larger plot to grow mass produce, ideally between two and five acres.

'Until then we are looking forward to growing intensively and using minimal-till methods to crop produce,' they said.

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