What an amazing couple of months it has been seeing this project come to life from the initial seed of an idea whilst visiting the site nearly a year ago. Sharing that idea was met with a lot of vocal support, and none moreso than from Karen and Marguerite who have quickly turned that support to action, becoming instrumental in the project and in particular the monumental efforts required to create the edible farm.
At present the site offers a blank canvas to which we will steadily build the thriving and abundant community farm, producing fruits, herbs and vegetables. Achieving that blank canvas has taken a lot of work and there is much still to do.
When we first visited the site, although the main greenhouse structure was in good order, the weeds and brambles were a dominant force, the old mechanics of the site were in disrepair and not necessary for our plans, the wider landscape of the site was littered with abandoned vehicles and litter, the electrics and water didn’t function and the stone buildings were strewn with the remnants of a site abandoned.
Little by little the efforts of working party volunteers, the directors of the charity, the community service scheme and more recently the support of a growing list of sponsors offering time, services, money and more have changed all that.
We now have nearly two acres of glasshouse cleared of weeds and brambles and stripped of the old heating pipes and mechanics that are no longer necessary for our aims. We have soil samples taken and with the advice received we are starting to break and condition the soil ready for planting. Initially this will be contained to small sections of herbs and vegetables, a number of fruit canes and trees in the indoor orchard and a dedicated children’s area that will form the beginnings of our education zone. The more hands we have at the working parties to undertake this initial infrastructure the sooner we will achieve it. Your hands are very welcome and much needed.
It’s worth saying that the volunteers we require for this project are not just hands on, able bodied or with vast growing experience. There is so much to do to assist from administration and accounts, to trades such as plumbing, mechanics and fabrication, and of course plenty of seedlings to plant, produce to sort and prepare for distribution. As Pam Warhurst, of Incredible Edible Todmorden, says, ‘if you eat, you’re in’ and she’s not wrong, we can no doubt make use of whatever skill, service or time you have to offer.
Until now it has been about what we at edible guernsey have been doing to create the edible farm. Now, at our time of launch to the public it is time to welcome the wider community on site and ask what we can collectively achieve.
In order to open the site for business outside of the current working parties we need to secure the services of a number of site supervisors. We have a great team of mentors already whose collective growing experience will help shape the direction we take, our site supervisors will ensure that vision is applied in the day to day activity of the people who visit the site. If you can spare two hours or more per week you will be able to guide volunteers with varying ability and experience to work in unison to achieve the results possible when we all pull in the same direction.
The more supervisors we have the more time we can open the site for people to drop in and in time we hope to have the site open during all daylight hours each week. We look forward to achieving remarkable things together and working towards food security for our island population.