Soul Farm — No dig regenerative market garden

by Laurence Jarrett-Kerr in Flushing, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 19th December 2019 we successfully raised £8,163 with 136 supporters in 28 days

Build a farm for the future, providing better food for the community, building soil and greater food sovereignty.

by Laurence Jarrett-Kerr in Flushing, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

  • With the extra money we'll be able to offer some discounted vegetable boxes to households on low incomes
  • We'll be able to buy even more manure and compost to fill the entire field and allow for more crop rotation
  • We'll also buy another caterpillar/ polytunnel for growing earlier and later in the year

If we go beyond £8k:

  • It will go towards paying us a living wage and help towards having more people working and employed in Cornwall
  • And if I go beyond that, I'll put the money towards an electric delivery vehicle

Soul Farm is a market garden in Falmouth, Cornwall

We produce vegetables on 1.5 acres of land in collaboration with the Trefusis Estate. The end of soulless food is here!

After our first season we have seen there is demand to supply more families through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) scheme. 

With your support

  • With this injection of funds you will be helping us buy manure, compost and the machines we need to move 100 tons of worm-filled soil that form the basis of our no-dig/no-till market garden 
  • We will be investing in a better irrigation system
  • We have some key tools we need to buy to make the farm run more efficiently 
  • We would love a harvest cart

Soul Farm is a no-dig market farm growing seasonal vegetables

We sell to restaurants in Falmouth and the surrounding area and we're running a CSA veg box scheme. We’re looking to connect community and growers, so that you know what you’re getting. Labels like "organic" become irrelevant because you know exactly where your food comes from. We want to build up trust and customers can communicate with the farm and give feedback. It’s a membership, a club and a team. Community involvement is critical to the functioning of the farm.


We're on a mission to feed local people and to help people to think about where their food has come from. Our vegetables taste fantastic - fresh and full of nutrients that haven't wasted away in a truck coughing down the A30. We also love to challenge people to eat seasonal food they wouldn't ordinarily try.

We’re looking for pioneers, change makers and food lovers. Because, well… the world's food system needs to change. It needs to change one small farm at a time. The end of big, soulless agriculture is nigh. With Brexit about to happen we have a chance to think about the food we eat and we need more mindful farming, farming which looks at ecology and food.


I have double dug my garden once, then I met Charles Dowding (one reward is one of his calendars) and that all changed. No dig is a technique he has used for many years, and it has become more and more popular, with now courses, books and podcasts. On my scale, it's a lot more work than using a two wheeled tractor or rotivator. But by using a great deal of compost I can create a growing medium that smothers weeds and increases worm life, and that vegetables love. The soil biology is left undisturbed, meaning the soil is living. It has soul! We're increasing fungal life, bacterial life and balancing the fertility.  This approach to farming is the at the core of regenerative agriculture and it is the future for our children. 

Small scale farming is the future

There is a new movement towards small scale agriculture. But when an industry has the average age of 60 you know it’s in big trouble. The need for a different approach to industrialised agriculture is vital, and we are only just at the start of the rise of micro/ regenerative and urban farms. We need millions more all around the world. 

The micro farm means that we don’t need motorisation. Increased diversity and soil biology means more fertility, healthier and tastier plants and no need for GMOs and pesticides. More humus in the soil means more water retention and robustness to unseasonal dry spells. These techniques can’t be achieved on industrial scales, that is why they are not practised. The use of machinery demands that farms become bigger and bigger. Tractor wheels take up huge amounts of space. For efficiencies they need to grow fewer crops. The bigger the farm the wider their market needs to be and the greater the pressure this puts on the environment through transportation. There are techniques like no dig and no till which help build soil, increase fertility, and manage weed and insect pressures but they are rarely practised on a large scale.

We're Bringing a walled garden back to life.

 The garden has not been producing food on a large scale since the 1960s. During the war the greenhouse sustained bomb damage and is now being repaired and the pasture is turned into no-dig vegetable plots. You can stand in the garden and see the light glistening off the water of the Carrick Roads, you can see boats in the distance and you can almost smell the sea. Early in the morning as we harvest lettuce in the mist you can hear the fog horns sounding in Falmouth Harbour.

Your help, however large or small, is game changing

If you live in Falmouth then what I'm providing is actually for you. There are also some great rewards that you can take. You put food on our plates, we'll put food on yours. But if you live "up country" as they say, then there are some rewards that are just for you too, they're more one-off experiences or swag. We're all striving to leave a better world for our children so please consider supporting this little farm in Cornwall.

Rewards

We have some ace swag for you guys. We've saved some seeds from the garden. We've worked with illustrators Paul Richards and Nath Fletcher to bring you some epic enamel mugs, caps and t-shirts.

We have collaborations with grower Charles Dowding, bookbinder Sarah Jarrett-Kerr, and woodsman Tom Kemp, whether you want signed copies of Charles' calendar, a one of a kind leather journal  or a bespoke one day course making your own wooden bench

Could some rewards be Christmas gifts for a green-fingered loved one? 

(t-shirts, caps and mugs won't be delivered before Christmas however)

We're also offering some great days on the farm learning no-dig growing that can work on whatever scale. Get the right reward and we'll open up direct line to us to ask questions and consult through the season. We're also offering amazing feasts for you and a few of your peeps with one of the amazing chefs Soul Farm works with. 

Would you like to join the CSA? 

You can find out more or drop me your details so you'll be notified when the CSA membership opens at www.soulfarm.co.uk or you contact us direct if you have any questions at [email protected] 

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£60 or more

Plant an apple tree

We'll buy and apple tree and plant it on your behalf. We'll also out your name on the tree. Help save the planet and feed people at the same time. We'll also send you a thank you letter and seeds in the post and do a social media shout out.

£5 or more

Carrot reward

A bed of carrots seeded in your name while I sing your praises to the birds and the bees. Oh, I'll also send you a thank you letter in the post and do a social media shout out.

£20 or more

Dawn chorus reward

Organic Soul Farm enamel mug and thank you letter with some organic flower seeds. If you want to see the design scroll down the page. I've got to make a mug as coffee is the only thing that wakes me up for the pre-dawn harvests.

£30 or more

Soul Farm Swag

Organic Soul Farm t-shirt or cap (you choose) and thank you letter, social media shout out and some organic flower seeds. If you want to see the designs of the swag scroll down the page.

£85 or more

4 of 10 claimed

Cornish Veg box reward

One free veg box, a reserved place on the CSA and 5% off 2020 veg box season  + organic Soul Farm t-shirt, cap or mug (you choose) - we'll also send you a thank you letter and seeds in the post and do a social media shout out. To claim this reward you need to live in Falmouth or surrounding villages.

£120 or more

4 of 15 claimed

Soul Farm Guided Tour

A guided tour from the farmer, followed by tea and Cornish cream tea for you and a friend. We will show your around the special place and you may learn a thing or two about no-dig pesticide free growing the. Plus you're name on a sign and a pack of organic seeds.

£185 or more

0 of 20 claimed

Your name on the door

Your name on a sign saying you helped build this farm, 2x organic t-shirts, an apple tree planted on your behalf, a thank you letter with organic flower seeds

£200 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Handmade leather garden journal

1 of 2 hand made leather gardening journals make by bookbinder Sarah Jarrett-Kerr and a thank you letter with organic flower seeds and your name on a sign.

£300 or more

The apple of our eye

Two apple trees planted on your behalf, your name on a sign saying you helped build this farm, 2x organic t-shirts and an enamel mug, a thank you letter with organic flower seeds and a social media shout out. We're planning on having apple trees in cordons around the farm. This is a bit of a nice to have but very necessary for the bees.

£400 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Learn no dig on the farm

A 1-1 or 2 -1 one day course organic no-dig gardening at Soul Farm for you and a friend, including lunch. Also an open channel so you can email me through your season with questions as they occur. You'll also get the swag... 2x Soul Farm organic t-shirts, your name on a sign saying you helped build this farm.

£850 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Talking sustainability

I'll come and talk sustainability and food with you and your staff anywhere in UK (expenses charged outside of the South West). Your business name on a sign saying you helped build this farm, this is a one-off offering and links you to this movement. 2 x organic t-shirts, an apple tree planted on your behalf and social media coverage.

£1,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Become no dig

A one-day consultation in your home garden on making it no-dig (expenses charged outside of the South West), I'll come to you and I'll bring the manure - we'll get our hands dirty and get you started. Also you'll get an open channel so you can email me through your season with questions as they occur. 2x Soul Farm organic t-shirts, your name on a sign saying you helped build this farm.

£1,000 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Cornish business reward

A veg box delivered for 10 of your staff as a one off gift for them, they'll also each have a t-shirt. We'll also put your business name on a sign saying you helped build this farm and have an apple tree planted on your behalf.

£1,500 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Soul Farm Feast

A feast for you and 5 friends in the orchard by the garden with one of Falmouth's top chefs. We'll give you a tour of the farm, plus the other swag - 2x Soul Farm organic t-shirts, your name on a sign saying you helped build this farm, a thank you letter with organic flower seeds

£2,000 or more

Polytunnel with your name on it

We'll build a polytunnel in your name. We'll make a wooden sign which we'll have outside and you'll get to name it, it could be Tunnel McTunnel Face? Come and see it as well and we'll show you around and give you a cream tea. Also the swag... 2x Soul Farm organic t-shirts, a mug, your name on a sign saying you helped build this farm. n.b. We'll only be able to buy the polytunnel if we meet the target. You'll still get the rest.

£2,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Make a one of a kind bench

A one-day workshop for you and a friend where you’ll make a wooden bench with Trefusis' woodman’s Tom Kemp with lunch provided, you'll be guided through all the woodmanship and come out with something amazing you can take home. Also the swag... 2x Soul Farm organic t-shirts, a mug, your name on a sign saying you helped build this farm.

£3,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

A Cornish Holiday

Come and stay in one of Trefusis Estates' holiday cottages (The Lodge) for a weekend, email me for photos if you're tempted. It sleeps 5, accepts dogs and has a wood burner. You'll also get a guided tour of the farm, fresh veggies your name on a sign saying you helped build this farm and all the swag. There are a few conditions of this one as the booking needs to be in the off season, or what we call the best season

£40 or more

7 of 7 claimed

The No-Dig Reward

A signed Charles Dowding No-Dig gardening calendar, enamel mug and thank you letter from us with organic flower seeds plus a social shout out. The calendar is full of sowing dates and will really help you out through your 2020 growing season. So sit down with your mug full of tea and plan your year.

£60 or more

4 of 4 claimed

Name a plot

We have 4 main plots in the garden. At the moment they're called N1 (North 1), N2, S1 and S2. I think we can do better than that so you'll get to name one of them (something tasteful please) and we'll make little signs. Again we'll also send you a thank you letter and seeds in the post and do a social media shout out.

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