A Community Kitchen for Oxford City Farm

Lucie Mayer profile

Project by Lucie Mayer

A Community Kitchen for Oxford City Farm
We did it
On 1st June 2020 we successfully raised £42,385 ( + est. £4414.00 Gift Aid ) with 347 supporters in 25 days

We want to rehome a fabulous kitchen/classroom and office building at Oxford City Farm - help us save this fantastic resource from landfill.

New stretch target

With any extra funds we will ensure that the have all the utensils we need to run cookery courses. We will also repaint the internal structure and replace the flooring where needed.

Our idea

A local school has offered Oxford City Farm a fantastic modular classroon/kitchen space to re-use. We have just 3 weeks to raise the funds needed to relocate the building to our site in Florence Park. We urgently need to raise £40,000 to re-locate and transform the building into a warm, dry and fully-equipped teaching resource for people of all ages to prepare and cook fresh, healthy food grown and picked on site. £8,000 has already been pledged to save the classroom from landfill. Every donation, no matter how small, will help.

Oxford City Farm has played a big role in the community since 2017

Since signing a 40 year lease in 2017, Oxford City Farm has come a long way. We have become a valued community resource, supporting health and well- being. A  place where people learn and grow together.

We run regular community farming sessions, providing meaningful volunteering opportunities for a wide range of people. We work with schools and other groups to develop knowledge and skills related to farming, food production and the environment. Our nurture programmes support well-being and resilience through connecting people to the land and nature and through shared endeavour, to each other.

Cooking has always been integral to what we do, from delicious campfire fare to more replicable at home harvesting and cooking sessions. We have done so much with so little in terms resource – most of our teaching has been delivered from a 1970’s tent that finally met it’s end in the this year’s storm season! However, we now have an incredible chance to dramatically improve the situation  . . . 

We’ve been offered the opportunity to re home a fully equipped kitchen/classroom for teaching… and save it going to landfill!

Re-homing the modular building at Oxford City Farm will be truly transformative in terms of the breadth, quality and sustainability of what we are able to offer on the farm.

It represents a huge leap forward. Providing a warm, dry and fully equipped teaching kitchen/classroom enables us to support people of all ages from across the community to build skills and confidence to cook and eat fresh healthy food that has been grown and picked on the site. 

Why a kitchen/classroom at Oxford City Farm?

Covid19 has dramatically highlighted the need to address spiraling rates of lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes and heart and lung disease and address health inequalities so that the poorest and most disadvantaged are not disproportionately affected by these illnesses. This building will enable us to work proactively all members of the community including reaching out to those in high risk groups and communities in need.

The building has wheelchair access so will drastically improve accessibility to the farm site. As well as the kitchen/classroom space, it also provides accessible toilet facilities, a reception and 3 small offices. The office space will house the Farm’s core staff team and the growing number of volunteers, it will also provide flexibility as private meeting space, and as ‘break-out’ space for courses and teaching small groups.

“Interest in participating in farm activities has increased year-on-year and as we emerge through this crisis the Farm will be there for our community,” Martin Ousley, Oxford City Farm Director. “Our desire to re-home this versatile classroom/kitchen is very much about being able to increase the scale and impact of our work. The classroom/kitchen will provide a valuable nurturing and educational space for individuals, families and groups, which will be especially important as we start to open up and adjust to life post-Covid-19.”

We need to raise £40,000 to transport this building by the 29th of May

The teaching space is versatile and will enable us to run courses in a whole range of subjects from cooking described above to food growing and permaculture and practical sustainability - greatly enhancing the practical opportunities for hands on learning on the wider farm site.

“We have done so much with so little in terms of resource over the last 3 years, positioning ourselves as an important community resource,” says founder member and Chair of Trustees, Lucie Mayer. “Most of our teaching has been delivered outdoors and under canvas. Gaining access to a warm, indoor teaching and cooking space that can be used all year round – rain or shine – would be fantastic. If we achieved our goal, the new building would enable us to build the skills of people, of all ages, across our community, giving them the confidence to grow, cook and eat fresh healthy food. If we are able to secure it, it will represent a huge leap forward.” 

Please do what you can to help

We need to raise £40,000 by the end of May 2020 if we are to realise the potential of valuable  resource. Certainly, it’s a big challenge, and we have just a small window of time to secure the resources that we need – We know this is a difficult time to be fundraising with so much uncertainty at the forefront of people’s minds, but we believe that it is possible. We have already secured £8,000 –  20% of the costs for this project – and with your  support, we can realise this goal.”

“If we are able to secure the building it will enable us to deliver much greater long-term financial sustainability for the farm which has become a vital part of the community not just locally but across Oxford,” says Martin Ousley. 

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