We need your help to raise at least £6500 to make essential repairs and expand our market garden so that we can produce even more local food using organic principals. With the money we will repair our poly-tunnel (which was badly damaged in a recent storm), plant an orchard, establish a flock of hens for eggs and make other improvements to the site including creating much needed fences, windbreaks and paths.
We are Locavore, a not-for-profit social enterprise which exists to help build a more sustainable local food system for the Greater Glasgow area. We want to help build a just and sustainable local food system which reduces the impact of food on the environment, enables people to choose healthy affordable diets and builds a strong local economy that supports local communities over big business.
What we do:
Run a not-for-profit shop at 66 Nithsdale Road in Glasgow which specialises in local and organic produce.
Deliver local organic veg bags to households across west-central Scotland.
Host cookery and gardening sessions.
Distribute low cost organic produce to low-income communities.
Run 'The Croft', a local food growing space in Queens Park which provides nano-market gardens for local people.
Cater for events & meetings using local organic produce.
Work to develop our 2.5 acres of land on the outskirts of Neilston into a productive market garden - that's what this crowd fund is all about!
About Neilston Market Garden:
Last year we started work developing a market garden on our 2.5 acres of land on the outskirts of Neilston, 8 miles south of our shop. Currently we are using about 25% of the site and over the last 6 months it has produced a lot of vegetables despite various setbacks including getting started late and spending the first few months picking rocks and waiting for equipment to arrive!
Within the last year we've produce lots of kale, salad bags, chard, rainbow carrots, turnips and beetroot which have been sold in our shop or through our veg bag subscription scheme. As well as growing vegetables the site has also acted as a place to provide training and paid placements to young people who are struggling to find employment. So far we've hosted four trainee market gardeners and have a new intake of four starting this month.
Over the next few years we hope to create a model for producing local organic produce in west-central Scotland which can be replicated and scaled up. To do this we really need to hit this spring running, particularily as our first year's start up funding has finished and so the safety net it provided has been removed.
Why Crowd Fund?
The need to find extra investment to expand the garden this year following the end of our funding led us to look at crowd funding at the beginning of January. Soon after in the early hours of Friday the 9th of January the west of Scotland was struck by high winds which caused a huge amount of damage to our poly-tunnel, the 'workhorse' of our garden. With it we lost lots of crops, the income they would have brought, and now face the cost of repairs. On reporting our bad news on social media some of our supporters suggested crowd funding, confirming our decision to come on here and ask for your help!
Below: Our battered poly-tunnel needs a new roof.
Below: Help us re-cover the poly-tunnel.
What will we do with contributions?
With your contributions our priority is to address the emergency issue of repairing our poly-tunnel and building lots of windbreaks to minimise the chance of this scale of damage happening again. Beyond this we will do the following:
Plant an orchard with at least 30 trees including traditional Scottish heritage varieties. These will take several years to mature but once established should provide lots of fruit to go into our shop and veg bag scheme. The orchard will include apples, pears and plums, all of which are impossible for us to source locally at the moment. There are some really tasty old local varieties our there including the 'Cambusnethan Pippin' which certainly deserves to be tasted by more people.
Establish a flock of free range chickens which will be raised for eggs following organic principals. The chickens will live under fruit trees in the orchard, giving them loads of space to roam around and act naturally. We want to keep our own hens both because we can't source really local organic eggs and because they will provide much needed fertility for the market garden. We also sell lots of eggs every week so it will be great to have them from our own hens.
As well as the orchard and the chickens we want to plant hedges and build fences to split up the site into sections for various uses. We will also improve paths to make the site more accessible to visitors, volunteers and nano-growers who will be offered individual plots this spring as part of this years ongoing development.