WE ARE CROWDFUNDING TO FUTURE PROOF OUR COMMUNITY FARM!
Who are we?
Farnham Community Farm grows vegetables for, and with, the local community. All year round we supply our members with a weekly bag of fresh, seasonal veg. For most of the year all the veg is all grown entirely ourselves, here in Farnham. Our veg is always pesticide-free and we grow to organic principles. We are an award winning, not-for-profit, Community Supported Agriculture scheme, based in Surrey.
Our members feel connected to where their food comes from, and they know they are supporting a small-scale local producer who farms with care for the environment. As a cooperative all our members have a say in how our scheme is run, and everyone is welcome to join in and volunteer in the field, helping to grow and harvest the vegetables they will eat.
"I would never usually buy the leaves or greens we've had but honestly they've been the best thing on my plate this last few weeks! We've used everything and it's all been delicious. I love the ethos of the project and look forward to bringing my daughter to help out in the school holidays!"
As well as providing veg for our community, we also offer work experience placements for young people and adults living with disabilities. Every week a local school with pupils who have learning difficulties and additional needs, particularly autism, volunteer at the farm as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award.
"Thank you for enabling our students and adult with a disability the opportunity to volunteer at Farnham Community Farm. Your support, welcome and environment make even the hardest-to-help feel valued, and have a role in the community. I know that some of our customers volunteering with you have been unable to find placements elsewhere, so we are very grateful for your openness to all. Even when we turn up with students who would rather sit in the car than work, you find easier, fun tasks for them to do... so thank you."
— Angie Cogbill, South Service Coordinator, Surrey Choices EmployAbility
Why do we need your help?
Not too long ago we had to move to a new site, which has meant starting from scratch, especially regarding our infrastructure. We would like to grow for more households, and there is huge demand, and enough land, but at the moment with our current resources we are limited to 60.
20 more veg bag members would allow us to be financially self-sufficient and no longer rely on grants to cover any staff salaries.
To reach this goal, we need to invest in more labour saving equipment and materials.
Your donation will go towards:
- Installing a renewable energy supply to the farm, we currently have no electricity at the site which makes things very difficult. A bank of solar panels and batteries will help run things like heated benches in the plant nursery.
- Expanding the irrigation to cover the whole of the field, meaning we can water our crops more efficiently.
- Installing a compost loo; we currently only have a three-sided shed with some straw on the ground as our toilet (suitable for number ones only)!
- A walk-behind tractor; as a small team of three, plus volunteer support, we rely on our walk-behind tractor to save us from doing everything by hand. Unfortunately, this tractor was recently stolen. We are temporarily borrowing a replacement, but it’s old, and it breaks down a lot. We need a bigger machine to scale up our production, and allow us to use more growing methods that look after the soil.
- Stepping up security at the farm, following the theft of our tractor and other tools. As well as replacing these tools, we need to do our best to ensure this doesn't happen again.
- Essential growing equipment that helps us grow pesticide free, such as insect mesh and bird netting.
- A walk-in fridge to store veg as soon as it’s harvested; we currently have to chase the shade around our exposed field on harvest days! This would also allow us to properly store our winter veg such as squash.
- A wood-fired pizza oven; we built one on our old site, which formed a real hub for our community. It meant we could feed our volunteers, and it raised funds for the farm. We’d love to reinstate that community base with a pizza oven on our new site.
- Potentially making up the rest of our Farm Coordinator's salary for this year; taking it to full-time at minimum wage. We have applied for a grant that we will hopefully get, but if not we need a back up!