Edfords has been offering a wide variety of opportunities to people using green space therapy for the past 6 years, a recent move to a Norfolk County Council Farm has given us the ability to expand what we do and offer better services to improve the futures of everyone we work with as well as the wider community.
Both Edfords and Norfolk County Farms team are investing in the new site to improve what we already offer which means the care farm will give people the chance to be involved with raising rare breed livestock on a sustainable model using regenerative agriculture to improve the farm and reintroduce wildlife through planting trees and hedgerows back on the farm. We will also be introducing a four acre market garden which will operate as community supported agriculture meaning the community can come along and get involved in growing their own food.
Edfords is building an onsite butchery and farm shop so we can prepare and sell our own goods directly as well as stocking products from other local businesses and farms. All of this is so we can offer more to the people who use the care farm to develop their skills and train for their futures, we want the farm to offer more than just a day service and are introducing an education programme to help the people we work with take the next steps in life, they will be able to learn all aspect of our way of farming with nature in mind, they'll understand how and why we give our livestock the best possible life and why we grow all of our fruit and vegetables without the use of pesticides (we will be converting the entire farm to organic over the next two years). With our additions these people can also get involved at every level of the farm that interests them, this may be the market garden, working in the butchery or looking after the shop.
Edfords would like everyone to understand food production and how we feel it should be done so our farm will have community elements too, the market garden will welcome community involvement as a CSA, we will be planting a community orchard and run open days throughout the year but the main focus is food and the role it plays in our lives.
There are many people who have little choice but to rely on the basic food offered by supermarkets, often low quality with more additives than nutrition. Our plan is to make local seasonal food affordable, firstly by keeping our prices reasonable and affordable to most people and secondly by teaching the skills to use local seasonal food well.
We would like to raise the funds to equip a small kitchen in our Farm Shop but as a small not for profit this is a stretch too far on top of the cost of setting up the farm, market garden and butchery.
The kitchen will offer cookery classes to members of the community who are struggling with the cost of living and becoming reliant on food banks, we will bring in professional chefs to teach everyone how to cook with local produce and make this produce go further, we will offer a session every month and everyone who attends will be offered a discount in the shop & butchery to help them afford local produce. Edfords will supply all the produce required for these sessions at no cost as well as providing the chef, we are only looking to raise the funds to equip the kitchen.
The kitchen will also be used to teach the young people we already work with how to cook for themselves, as a vital element of independent living this will help them with their steps to independence in the future. We will also use it to cook products to sell in the farm shop and host pop up events with local chefs including those involved in the cookery classes, these will bring in further income to Edfords and as a not for profit all the money will go back into the business and help us maintain this model after the funding has been used making it a self sustaining project continuing for years to come.