When CropShare met FarmShare…
One of the recurring themes at the Eastern Region CSA Gathering and FarmHack was that it’d be great to visit other CSAs more regularly to exchange ideas and strengthen the sense of community. Often those thousands of jobs at the farm get in the way though, farm days clash with one another and growers can’t really take the time off for farm tours when there’s thousands of seedlings to be put in the soil.
We came up with the idea of volunteering at each other’s farm – that way we still get to socialise, learn about different farming practises and at the same time help getting those jobs done – everybody wins!
So as there wasn’t an official farm day at Willow Farm (although Paul and Hugh were busy laying the foundation for our new shed- but that’s another story) I decided to make a start and visit our friends at Norwich FarmShare– a community-owned farm growing delicious seasonal vegetables just outside Norwich.
After nearly missing my train – I’ve never seen Cambridge train station that busy – I got on my way and arrived at FarmShare HQ suitably late, in fact just in time for lunch!
During lunch there was ample time to catch up with known faces, meet the other members and talk about similarities and differences between our CSA projects. Then it was time to get stuck in – FarmShare were struggling with some pesky rabbits feasting on their lettuces in the polytunnel, so we helped Emma, one of their growers to secure the precious crops by laying chicken wire on the ground around the entrance doors. Being used to our crumbly fen soil I foolishly though this may be a half hour job, but before I knew it the farm day was nearly over, and I hadn’t even started taking any pictures of the farm!
We just about got the job finished before it was time to leave, and each of us learned a thing or two about the nitty gritty of rabbit protection. I learned it makes hammering in pegs a lot easier when giving the soil a good watering first.
After a quick tour of the farm it was time to say farewell for now, leaving me just enough time to enjoy Norwich town centre with its plethora of funky cafes & shops.