There are a number of projects we are working on which need your support – financial or in terms of volunteering. While producing more abundant delicious veg for our members every week the main aims of these projects are:

  • Improve working conditions of farmers
  • Rejuvenate the soil
  • Reduce environmental footprint
  • Increase bio-diversity
  • More sustainable organic food production
  • A place for members to build a community

We’re concentrating on Hawkwood at the moment. We are in discussion with the owners of Brentlands on how we can work more closely together and we’re also involved in the development of Oakbrook Farm.

We are currently working on…

With the purchase of a new office space for the Farm Team we want to return to hiring out this beautiful space to community groups. To do this, we want to paint the Roundhouse, improve the power links and complete the cladding.

In July 2023 we have begun the refurbishment of the Roundhouse at Hawkwood so we can hire it to community groups and SCA members, hopefully from September. We will be holding a few Summer Roundhouse Workdays to do the work.

In September 2022, we were notified that we had received a Farming in Protected Landscapes award of £7725 as to provide 25 free educational tours before the end of March 2024. These tours will be open to school and community groups and will be focused on introducing local groups to organic farming and the production of local food. If you’d like to be involved in coordinating the tours please contact Blue at Similarly, if you know a group that would like to visit the farm please contact Blue. This is a fantastic opportunity to inspire young people.

This project will be funded by the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, created by Defra and delivered locally by the Cotswolds National Landscape team.

Amazingly, the Farm Team have relied on one set of tools across the various farm sites. The Team have told us how frustrating it can be to get to a different site to realise that a key tool is on another site. In future, there will be a tool shed at Hawkwood with a full set of the tools needed at Hawkwood. These tools will be housed in a converted container near to the barn. The new tool shed will also be used as a much-needed workshop since we have lost the workshop space at Brookthorpe . This will also free up some space in the Roundhouse, which we plan to return to a Community Building available for rent.

This project will provide a safe and dry central storage point for all tools used at Hawkwood and will hopefully result in a much calmer more efficient Farm Team! We’ll be funding the new tool shed via crowdfunding.

In 2022 we discovered that the barn roof is made of asbestos. This has meant we have needed to reassess our plans to renew the roof and collect rainwater from it. The project is now more complex and unfortunately more expensive. Reluctantly we have needed to re-jig our priorities and put this on hold for a while although we are committed to finding a way through. 

Meanwhile we have invested in irrigation. Money has also needed to be spent on  buying new protective covering for the field scale crops at Brentlands. Unfortunately clubroot has contaminated the covers we were hoping to take with us from Brookthorpe to our new site at Brentlands. We couldn’t risk taking the devasting rootcrop disease to our new site hence the unforeseen expense. Farming, eh?

At Hawkwood, the farm uses electricity to power the packing shed and fridges and freezers and to power the Roundhouse. We’ve been working with SolarSense on the design of a solar and wind installation to power the Roundhouse, the irrigation pump and the Farm Team’s office. This will likely consist of two rows of ground level solar panels and a small wind turbine and some batteries. There will be a small generator, which will kick in automatically, should the batteries not have sufficient power. We’re already in the process of discussing planning requirements with Stroud District Council and hope to have the panels in place by Spring 2023. The alternative is that we link to the grid at an estimated cost of £15,000.

We’re planning to develop our production by revolutionising our composting process to develop growing medium for the polytunnels and improve soil health. We have got the agreement of our landlords at Hawkwood to build a small hard standing area where composting can occur more efficiently. Three walled bays will be built that are accessible by a tractor. This should result in a lot more useable compost to be available when planting and feeding our organic veg.

This is a fundamental project necessary for growing our nutritious, delicious and healthy veg that we all enjoy but we are still needing to raise funds for it. As a member recently said to a Core Group member – ‘Everytime I collect my veg I feel like I’m collecting my medicine. We are so very lucky to have this.’

Completed projects

With the money raised during our crowdfunding campaign in 2022 supplemented by the GREAT Project, Gloucs grant funds we have purchased the much needed two-wheel tractor and attachments. Thank you so much for your donations.

Pearl - 2 wheeled tracktor

We now have overhead irrigation in the polytunnels which will save the farmers time and effort plus give the plants the water they need to flourish. We couldn’t have done it without our community’s generous donations. Thank you.

A wooden chalet office has been erected where the Farm Team will do their admin and have lunch if the weather is poor. Once the process (Spring 23) of kitting it out with solar power and shelves etc. has finished they will vacate the roundhouse and settle into the new office.

New office building