Glasbren - Help us grow into Lords Park Farm!

by Glasbren CIC in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £16,986

£40,000 target 15 days left
42% 70 supporters

  Your donation will release extra funding

Support Us
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 29th July 2024 at 4:09pm

Help us grow into a huge new opportunity for Glasbren & unlock its potential as a truly regenerative place - for nature, people and planet!

by Glasbren CIC in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, United Kingdom

 donated match funding
Aviva Community Fund is providing live match funding

   Glasbren, the Welsh language word for ‘Sapling’, is a non-profit social enterprise, working for five years now to reimagine our local food systems, rewild the way we eat, live and grow, and regenerate our communities, the people who live in them and the land we depend on.  

    We're crowdfunding at a 'go big or go home' moment in our story, as we grow into a huge new opportunity for the project and the community we serve, and unlock the potential of Lords Park farm as a hub of community food, a safe refuge for vulnerable people and a biodiverse, ecologically rich and regenerative place for all. 

   We are hoping to raise £40,000 to help kick-start our ambitious vision and grow into the potential we know this new site offers.... 

The story so far

   Glasbren CIC (community-interest company) was founded in April 2019 at Bronhaul Farm, Bancyfelin, as we built an agroecological market garden, a place that would grow lots of nutritious food to feed the community, but that also would be a healing place for those who need it and a habitat for lots of insects, birds and soil life. 

   We built a packing shed and meeting space using local timber and reclaimed materials (including 2000 wellies discarded at Glastonbury festival - that's another story...!), shaped a food-growing landscape using the principles of permaculture and started to grow our team of directors, growers and volunteers....

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Our founding directors...

       For five seasons we've fed people within a ten-mile radius of the farm through our Community-Supported veg box scheme, a weekly ‘Share of the Harvest’ box of fresh & locally-grown vegetables, herbs, salads and wild edibles from the land. 

“The veg are fresh, local and tastier than anything you could buy from a shop. We love the feeling that our food is having a positive impact on the environment”

— Morgan & Josh, CSA veg box members

   Grown with nature, from open-pollinated seed by the loving hands of our growing community, we shared food with soul, with life and with a vibrant story of community and a deep care for our environment. The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model offers a radically new kind of relationship between consumers and producers based on mutual trust, transparency and building a better, kinder, more resilient food system. 

“I've built friendships here. And you don't get that going to the supermarket!”

— Padi Sutherland, CSA veg box member

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    We've organically grown a community of almost 100 volunteers, and tried to offer sanctuary to those suffering with mental health struggles, loneliness and isolation, climate anxiety and hopelessness - an 'island of sanity' in a troubling world. 

“I came to Glasbren at a low point in my life, and the gentle support and acceptance offered there by the people and land came when I desperately needed it."

- Sophie Pope, Previous volunteer

   Our volunteer programmes offer the benefits we know well of gardening and time in nature for our mental health and wellbeing, but more than that, they offer a sense of purpose, a chance to learn new skills, togetherness and an outlet for positive, collective climate action. 

   We supported low-income households through the pandemic with free or subsidised veg boxes, ran free low-cost cooking and food growing workshops for community gardening groups, to help alleviate the worst effects of the cost-of living and winter fuel crises. 

   We have always been so passionate about breaking down barriers to accessing land, nature, permaculture education and practical skills in sustainability, and over these years have understood what those barriers are and think we have good solutions to go forward with. We now operate entirely in the gift economy, so all workshops, courses, veg boxes and paid opportunities are offered on a sliding scale, paying what is affordable within a certain range. We feel that this is the best way to share the wealth and create a truly sustainable and fair circular economy. 

   We’ve run food heritage and food pop-up events as well as the annual Seedy Saturday Carmarthen, a festival to celebrate seed saving, seed sovereignty and to bring the local growing and sustainability community together.


   We've witnessed first-hand the vital role small, community-facing farms can play where the crises of our times converge, and the possibility in regaining the place of farms at the heart of communities, culture and rural life. 

"The value of Glasbren is immeasurable... they bring a culture, a community to the place in a way I've never seen anywhere else"

-- Alistair Bradley, volunteer and local veg grower

  The next chapter….go big or go home!


In 2023, Glasbren was at a crossroads. Conscious of the urgency of climate change, biodiversity collapse and our place at the convergence of many of the issues of our times, we were looking to replicate and scale what we are doing on a new, larger site to meet a growing need. 

   Wales grows a meager 3% of the veg it consumes, and there is growing demand in the Carmarthenshire region in the private and public sector for local, agroecological, nutrient dense veg. People are increasingly looking to nature and the land to heal after the pandemic, and in the face of climate change, are seeking skills and a sense of empowerment to take local, positive action for the planet and deepen their relationship to nature and the land. 

   In 2023, after a long a rigorous process, we heard to incredible news that we had been selected as the new long-term custodians and stewards of the strikingly -beautiful 134-acre National Trust farm, Parc yr Arglwydd | Lords Park, on the clifftops above the three rivers estuary just outside Llansteffan. 

   With a mandate to a work for nature, people and planet, and on the strength of a vision for an ecologically-rich, highly diversified, community-facing farm, we are excited and ready to grow the work we’ve been doing in the area for the last six years for local, agroecological, community-supported food and farming, food security, ecosystem restoration, health and wellbeing and bringing people into deeper relationship to land, food and nature.

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Parc yr Arglwydd | Lords Park farm on the cliffs above the Three Rivers Estuary.

   We have exciting plans to grow what we already do in the area - feeding more people, welcoming more volunteers, stewarding more land for nature - but also adding ‘Little Stewards’ nature-based programmes for children, more seasonal community events like Calan Mai (May Day) celebrations, tree-planting days and harvest feasts, and immersive residential land-based retreats and courses.

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   We have a holistic design and plan for the farm, inspired by permaculture - integrating productive, no-dig veg growing, tree systems, water catchment, rewilding, holistically-managed cattle and heritage oats and wheat - working with nature and for resilient ecosystems, climate adaptation and a long-term, secure source of food for local people.

   The potential of this place is vast. 

But we need your help....

 Thanks to support from Aviva Community Fund, who have agreed to match fund every donation made up to £250, we've increased our original target to £40,000! From this total, £25,000 would go towards:

  • Teaching spaces for the 'Little Stewards' nature-based children's programmes
  • Converting a listed-barn into a community space and kitchen for seasonal heritage feast nights, cooking workshops, gatherings and courses. 
  • Long-term water security - rainwater harvesting systems, water tanks and ponds
  • Rebuilding our CSA on the new site - community-scale food growing spaces, veg packing shed set-up, wheelchair access and accessible veg growing areas, polytunnels and equipment. 
  • Promotional material and outreach - helping us reach as many people as possible who could benefit from getting involved. 

   We hope to raise an extra £15,000 in match-funding to fund our 'LLWYBRAU - Pathways into Nature' programme - 40 FREE taster sessions here at the farm which would include themes such as wildlife ID and tracking, nature-based wellbeing, zero-waste living, cooking with the seasons, natural dyes and botanical inks, growing veg with nature, natural building and much, much more. 

   These will be a great way to experience the project, the land, and explore a connection to both in an accessible, low-cost way for low-income individuals. They will be pathways into longer-term development through volunteering in ecosystem restoration, agroecological food production and practical sustainability. We'd measure the impact of these sessions with interviews, follow-up surveys and through our social value engine.

   To give you a sense of the social and ecological value we are able to generate from financial investment, we've been monitoring the first five years of the project through the Social Value Engine, the UK’s only accredited solution to accurately and transparently measure the social value you provide to your community. We've summarised the results in the infographic below: 

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Imagine the impact we can have with more space, more resources and a secure tenancy for ten years to come. 

“If you’re on a journey to change your way of existing and your relationship with the land, this is an inspiring and informative way forward”

— Anthony Eke, Workshop Participant, ‘Growing with Nature - Seeds, Soil & Soul’

   Glasbren has grown organically from the grassroots, and is built on passion, integrity and an unwavering commitment to a regenerative future. We’ve done it on a shoestring, and every part of the project bears the mark of our volunteers and supporters, donations of time and resources, reclaimed materials and low-cost innovation - of belief that another world, another way is possible, and essential. Our founders have worked tirelessly the last few years, often without a wage, to keep Glasbren growing through a pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis, through uncertain times and dig-deep kinds of times.

   We can do alot with very little, but we are asking from a little help from you to get this big vision growing. We’ll make your donation go a long way - we can promise that its impact will be far-reaching and long-term. We have the vision, the experience, a robust business plan, a wide-reaching and deeply engaged community and the support of partner organisations like the National Trust, the Real Farming Trust, Landworkers Alliance, CSA Network, Social Farms and Gardens and many others to do this - but we didn’t come in with lots of capital. And that’s where you can help.

   We’re asking for donations to our Crowdfunder campaign, in exchange for a list of really exciting rewards - from planting a tree in your name on the land, dedicating a bench overlooking the three rivers estuary to you or a loved one or a place on one of our workshops, right up to a lifetime membership of Glasbren. We hope your donation can help you feel a part of the farm, of the fabric of this place and of the vision for the future here. All donors will get their name on our Founders Fence around the Community Orchard. 

   Your financial contribution will help secure a reliable source of local, agroecological, affordable food for the future. It will support tree planting, ecosystem restoration and the education of future generations in nature skills and environmental awareness. It will help us to create a peaceful, welcoming and ecologically-rich place for our community to gather and for immersive, transformative land-based experiences for all.

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   'All generations working together for future generations' - Community Tree Planting day at Lords Park farm in February 2024

   We are committed to stewarding this land towards deeper regeneration, to preserving and celebrating its heritage and history and honouring the spirit of a place we love and means so much to so many. We hope to create a hub of accessible, healthy local food, a peaceful meeting place for our community, a place for learning, growing and taking positive action for future generations. A truly regenerative place - for nature, people and planet.

“Can’t thank you guys enough for bringing so many long awaited changes to our frazzled way of life.”

 Liz Dutch, CSA Veg Box Member

   We once lived in relationship with our local lands, with the seasons, with our wild and cultivated foods, with our wild selves, with each other. We can be that way again…. We hope you’ll join us on the journey. 

“We feel it deep in our bellies. This is it. This is what we need right now. It's what we as communities need and as individuals”

— Paddy Fraine, volunteer

Read our full story here, check us out on instagram, Youtube and Facebook. If you’d like to watch an extended version of the Crowdfunder video -  ‘The Future of Farming’ on the A Great Alternative Youtube channel - click below. 


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£5 or more

Plant a native tree

Be a part of ecosystem regeneration. We'll plant a native tree in your name at Lords Park during the winter of 2024-25.

£10 or more

Pay-it-Forward Veg Box (Small)

Donate a veg box forward for a low-income household or family experiencing food insecurity. We'll distribute these to our solidarity veg box members in the 2025 season.

£20 or more

Pay-it-Forward Veg Box (Large)

Donate a large veg box to a low-income household or family experiencing food insecurity. We'll distribute these to our solidarity veg box members during the 2025 season.

£30 or more

1 of 20 claimed

A Glasbren tote bag

Become the proud owner of a unique organic-cotton, fair-trade, high-quality Glasbren tote bag for all of your tasty veggies!

£40 or more

5 of 20 claimed

Plant a Fruit Tree in Our Community Orchard

We'll plant an apple or pear tree in your name or the name of a loved one in our Community Orchard, accessible at all times for you to visit - and of course to help us harvest for Community juicing in the future!

£50 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Name a Wheelbarrow

We'll name a wheelbarrow - used by our volunteer community to shift compost, woodchip and more - for you or a loved one! You'll be able to use your own wheelbarrow on volunteer and community days, and spot your unique wheelbarrow on Glasbren social media posts!

£50 or more

A Place on a Day Workshop

Book your free place on a day workshop of your choice in 2025, incl. everything from foraging and food growing to nature connection or permaculture design.

£50 or more

One-to-one farm tour and experience

Join our founder and project lead, Abel Pearson, for a one-to-one tour of the farm and project. An immersive experience behind the scenes at Glasbren.

£50 or more

Foraging walk with Luisa

Join Luisa, one of Glasbren's directors and an experienced forager and wild cook, for a foraging walk in the fields, woodlands and on the coastal edges of Lords Park farm.

£75 or more

2-hour Zoom mentorship with the Glasbren team

We'll help you develop your community growing project, farm or growing space. We can offer mentorship over Zoom in permaculture design, whole farm design, garden and food growing system design, as well as in setting up a social enterprise, CSA or non-profit enterprise.

£100 or more

Half-day consultancy from the Glasbren team

We'll help you develop your community growing project, farm or growing space. We can offer consultancy in permaculture design, whole farm design, garden and food growing system design, as well as in setting up a social enterprise, CSA or non-profit enterprise.

£250 or more

Full-day consultancy with the Glasbren team

We'll help you develop your community growing project, farm or growing space. We can offer consultancy in permaculture design, whole farm design, garden and food growing system design, as well as in setting up a social enterprise, CSA or non-profit enterprise.

£250 or more

Place on a weekend course/retreat

Join us for a free place on any weekend course or retreat from 2025. Keep an eye on our website for details of what we've got coming up!

£500 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Place on a week-long course/retreat

Join us for a free place on any week-long course or retreat from 2025. Keep an eye on our website for details of what we've got coming up!

£750 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Place on a 2-week Permaculture Design Certificate

Join us for a two-week immersive residential Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC), recognised by the Permaculture Association, to learn how to integrate permaculture principles and practices into your life, and to live more sustainably an with a regenerative impact.

£1,000 or more

A bench with a view dedicate to you or a loved one

We'll dedicate a bench with a view over the three-rivers estuary to you or a loved one. This reward will allow you to come and sit on your bench and look our over the majestic view from Lords Park for years to come!

£1,500 or more

HAWTHORN membership of Glasbren

The Hawthorn membership of the project will give you one-year of unlimited access to all our services - workshops, courses, CSA veg box memberships, events and more (from January 2025).

£2,500 or more

BIRCH membership of Glasbren

The Birch membership of the project will give you five-years of unlimited access to all our services - workshops, courses, CSA veg box memberships, events and more (from January 2025).

£5,000 or more

OAK membership of Glasbren

The Oak membership of the project will give you lifetime* of unlimited access to all our services - workshops, courses, CSA veg box memberships, events and more (from January 2025). *For the lifetime of Glasbren at Lords Park farm (10+ years)

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