Growing good memories
I hope you're all healthy and safe and have been enjoying the delicious fruits of our labours from the farm. The hungry gap is behind us now and we are enjoying some bumper harvests. highlights for me recently have been the amazing heads of calabrese and the prolific purple sprouting broccoli. We've had record numbers of volunteers who have worked hard to help the farm look beautiful and be super productive. We're hoping to get a few guys blog posts from volunteers. Here is the first one from Courtney.
See you soon
Farm manager and grower at Norwich FarmShare
As a university student living in Norwich city centre, I have been reasonably unfamiliar with where food comes from and how it is grown, but that has certainly changed since the opportunity to volunteer at Norwich FarmShare arose just over a month ago. My passions have always aligned with biology, the environment and conservation, so it seems only natural that I would find myself longing to participate in the sustainable agricultural movement. Habitat loss is the biggest driver of biodiversity decline, and agriculture plays a huge part in that. This is why sustainable farming (working with the land, rather than against it) is a sector of agriculture I’m keen to explore - and it is exactly the experience you will find at the Norwich FarmShare. The combination of organic farming techniques and a workforce of paid growers and volunteers, many who are keen community members, is a rarity that needs to become more widely experienced.
My long-term goal is to have a farm of my own; my partner wants to become a chef with his own café, and we decided that a (mostly) self-sustained farm-café complex within our community felt right. We want to make a local difference; turning fresh produce cultivated by our own efforts into nourishing food for our local community will both help our natural landscape and fund future community projects.
Norwich FarmShare has provided tonnes of experience to a
farming novice like me; general organic farming techniques, in depth knowledge on individual crop types, and the mechanics of a community-supported project. This will benefit me greatly in my future ventures I am sure.
Having never experienced farm work before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I assumed it would be laborious and repetitive, but I was desperate to spend some time outside having experienced the pandemic lockdown, so I was excited to get stuck in. I was pleasantly surprised however, as every day at the farm comes with different jobs to do – I’ve helped weed crop beds, plant young lettuces and kale, harvested broad beans, laid woodchip paths, etc., none of which are particularly taxing, and the farming teams are always friendly and laid-back. I’m yet to experience a full season on the farm, so I am still eagerly anticipating the satisfaction of both planting and harvesting the same crop.
My fondest memory on the farm so far would have to be the first time I got to choose the fresh produce I wanted to take home (all of the volunteers get to take a bags worth of free veg after working). Taking fresh lettuce and kale from the ground, and turning them into a meal at home only reaffirmed my passions for both sustainable farming and good food.
My experiences at the farm have been nothing but enjoyable and fulfilling, and I think that everybody should give it a go.