How does the co-operative function?
Members and Friends support the aims of the coop.
Full members try to give the equivalent of at least two work days a month. This is a flexible arrangement and it is recognised that this will vary through the seasons. Work days are usually on a Tuesday or a Saturday, although members may enjoy the field on any day of the week.
We all value the company and dialogue with fellow Members & Friends, as well as the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful countryside, tranquillity and fresh air. It’s not all about digging. Gardening expertise is not required, indeed part of the pleasure is learning from each other and our mistakes, whilst trying new crops or concepts.
We operate by consensus, all Members views are given equal weight and decisions are normally arrived at with unanimity. ‘Friends’ are welcome to join in the discussions but do not join in the decision making.
Crop planning is done once a year by members, informed by the previous year’s planting and hopes for the coming year.
We have a formal monthly meeting to discuss all matters relating to the coop, but specifically to create a work plan for tasks that need doing. This task list is written up on a white board and members and friends use it to guide the work they wish to do on the field. The bulk of the work is carried out manually, the exceptions being some mowing and occasionally tilling. We aim to minimise digging by using green manures and compost to suppress weeds, unfortunately there is never enough compost for a complete no dig system.
All produce taken from the field is recorded, so that we have some idea of the productivity we are achieving with our various crops. Produce taken by Members is not charged (except for tomatoes), produce taken by Friends is charged. There is a real pleasure in having produce you have helped to nurture, that you know has had no artificial chemical inputs, has not travelled needless miles and tastes so good.
As well as the monthly meetings there are also times for recreation – seasonal celebrations, food around the fire, wildlife watching. Other interests such as photography, DIY and cooking all contribute to life on the field. We have at least one Open Day a year to welcome members of the public
New applications are welcome at any time. You can join as a Full Member or as a Friend. Click the Join Us link.