From Gower Power Co-op CIC Buzzbnk.org page (a crowdfunding platform specifically for social enterprises and charities) “We have created an effective and replicable model for engaging our local community in the production of high quality affordable organic produce whilst improving the biodiversity of the area…”
“For 50 years three fields at Webbsfield, Ilston, Gower, Wales, lay fallow, overgrazed by sheep from the common and with minimal biodiversity. This project is about a dream that those 15 acres can become an abundant food source, maximizing biodiversity whilst creating a community who are inspired to rebuild their local food economy.
“We embarked on this dream 2 years ago and since then Gower Power has supported the creation of Cae Tan CSA, which is now providing vegetables for 50 households and plans to double in size in 2016. Cae Tan has been working with the local school on a journey to grow a pizza from scratch; where pupils & parents have grown all of the ingredients & will grind the wheat to make flour, before baking in a wood fired oven at school. Cae Tan also works with a range of local groups who come to the land to volunteer. These include long term unemployed & hard to reach groups who have little access to the outdoors.
“We have also supported the creation of a sheep share which has nearly 60 sheep owned by community farm members, along with chicken and bee clubs for eggs, honey, and sources of natural fertilizer and pollination. Members share responsibility for the daily care of the animals and bees, and make group decisions about ongoing welfare. A community orchard of Welsh heritage varieties of apples, plums, pears, damsons and hundreds of soft-fruit bushes have been planted. This is alongside engaging volunteers in planting 2000 trees, teaching groups the ancient art of traditional hedge-laying and the implementation of many other biodiversity measures for the benefit of bees and other pollinators.
“We wanted to create a place where people, animals and plants could co-exist nourishing themselves and their surroundings; a place where people could rest, work and play; somewhere where people could learn and appreciate our relationship with finite and renewable sources of food and energy.
“Above all else we wanted and still want to create a place where natural resources are cherished and valued, where people feel a sense of belonging and ownership of their agricultural, industrial and natural heritage, and where they feel they are creating an ecologically sensitive future.
“Why we need your support: The next phase of development at Webbsfield is about setting up more infrastructure to feed and engage more people. Amongst the things we need are: improved access in and out of the site; fencing for new planting areas and for more animals; tables and benches for people to use and enjoy the land; we need shelters and equipment for training and maintaining fruit, vegetables, animals and people alike.
“A successful fundraise means:
We will double the size of Cae Tan CSA and provide vegetables for 100 households in 2016.
We will improve our offer to schools, the unemployed and groups who have difficulty accessing the outdoors.
We will engage more community members in bringing a variety of traditional skills back to life.
We will continue introducing a variety of biodiversity measures for pollinators and other species on our community farm.
We will raise awareness locally and beyond of the wide range of benefits of supporting ecologically sensitive land-based livelihoods.
“We invite your support in helping us materialize this vision of resilience and sustainability, so please feel free to spend your life savings on our rewards.
“We also want to keep building our network of co-operators willing to help us achieve our dream so please send this link onto family and friends with your recommendations for helping our cause. Thank you!”
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