PLANS have been announced for a community farm in Caldicot, to include a site at Caldicot Castle and Country Park in the heart of the town.
The idea was initially proposed on the Made Open Monmouthshire social media platform and has seen an overwhelmingly positive response from locals.
Kate Edwards and Gillian Brooks, who are behind the enterprise, both have backgrounds working on organic farms and are passionate about fresh, local, sustainable food.
The new community farm will grow a wide range of fruit and vegetables, using low impact farming methods which support the environment.
The pair are currently looking to find additional land in or around Caldicot, so that they can start to develop the farm ready to launch early next year.
Kate, who works as a grounds assistant at Caldicot Castle and runs Incredible Edible Caldicot, said: “We are very much in the early stages of setting up the community farm, however we have just acquired a small piece of land at Caldicot Castle and Country Park which will help us to get things moving and act as a community space.
“We are desperately looking for a larger plot of land, from 3-20 acres, ideally with some amenities, access to water etc.”
“The land at Caldicot Castle will be really helpful in explaining what we are trying to achieve with the main farm and will be a great space for the community to come and learn about growing fruit and vegetables.
“At the moment the land is an empty patch of grass, but we hope it will soon be full of plants and wildlife, a place for people to enjoy.”
The pair plan to run the farm using a community supported agriculture (CSA) model. CSA is a system of farming where a community is created around a farm, with a partnership forming between the farmers and their customers.
Many CSA farms have a form of subscription where members agree to support the farm for the whole season. In return, members receive a share of the harvest and are able to visit the farm regularly to help out or enjoy social events.
In Wales, the CSA farming model is growing in popularity, with a recent study by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens revealing a significant interest and potential for CSA farming in Wales.
The CSA farm in Caldicot looks to be the first of its kind in Monmouthshire and the pair hope that it will be the first of many.
Gillian, who is communications coordinator for the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Network UK said: “This is a really exciting time for CSA in Wales and I think the success of the model is really down to the community which often forms around these farms.
“There are so many benefits when people come together like this, for both the farmers and the members.
“You can source great food, swap recipes, learn new skills – we want the farm to be somewhere that people can come to enjoy being outdoors, for the farm to be part of their lives.”
To find out more, find the farm on Twitter @CaldicotFarm or Facebook at Caldicot-Community-Farm.
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