New cash for grow-your-own scheme in Cornwall
As winter starts to bite , a good news story.
A grow-your-own-veg scheme in Cornwall has been awarded a total of £60,000 in Lottery and EU grants to expand its volunteer-run enterprise.
Camel Community Supported Agriculture at St Kew Highway near Wadebridge is a co-operative venture that aims to promote local food, reduce food miles and connect people with the land where their food is grown.
The non-profit-taking group has received £47,984 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Local Food Programme and £12,484 from the East Cornwall Local Action Group (ECLAG).
Charlotte Barry, chairwoman of Camel Community Supported Agriculture, said: “This financial injection will enable us to move forward and to work with wider groups of people within the rural community in north Cornwall to promote links between fresh, seasonal food, good health and well-being.”
The £60,000 funding will allow Camel CSA to invest in valuable equipment including three poly tunnels, a bore hole and water tank, irrigation system, sheds, a small tractor, horticultural tools and rabbit-proof fencing.
Its Growing Food, Growing People project will offer volunteering, educational and social opportunities for disadvantaged and unemployed people through partnerships with schools, charities and other local groups. There will be at least ten educational sessions and over 100 people will take part in site visits.
ECLAG is part of the Local Action for Rural Communities Programme, a European Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs programme.
Ian Riddle, chairman of ECLAG, said: “This type of project will connect people to the land and promote a healthy lifestyle. There is more awareness concerning people ‘growing their own’ around now, and it will be interesting to see how the community supported agriculture model compares against the more traditional approach such as allotments.”
Camel CSA has been up and running for just under two years. Members from 50 supporting households cultivate vegetables on a two-acre plot for its weekly veg box scheme and buy in additional produce from local growers.
It was set up with support and advice from the Soil Association. Traci Lewis, of the Soil Association, said: “Through the Making Local Food Work programme, we’re proud to have supported the development of Camel CSA. It’s a really exciting project which is providing real benefits to local producers and communities in the Camel valley.”