Developing the farm - the five year plan
Year one - 2013/14 - the year it started
-Surveying the plot. 2.2 acres of arable land with a 15mX5m barn in disrepair; one half of a 4.4 acre smallholding in the Tud Valley, Costessey
- Surveys included: condition of soil, plantlife, tree and animal habitats including bats. Condition, overview and possibilities for the exisiting barn structure, local environmental concerns, and farming possibilities.
- Market research; local Norwich population, what would they want from a community farm, what function could it play in their lives, current attitudes towards peoples relationship with their food supplies, local farming industry and the environment.
- Initial discussions with a wide range of school, and local and national charities.
- Clear the land and barn, set up website and business infracstructure, visit 20+ community farms for further research.
Year two - 2014/15 - the year of trials and new friends
- Tree planting day; edible hedgerow donated by 'The Woodland Trust'. permeter fencing and veg plot underground fencing.
- Solar enegergy installed and irrigation set up. Further land and tree management, and pilot growing year, test veggie box scheme.
- Open day for locals,schools and charities to visit.
- Strenghten relationship with future customers, community groups and schools, make new friends. Attend local charity events.
- Raise funds and secure purchase of the land, free hold.
Year three - 2015/16 - the year of development
- Double food production and launch business activities through farm service 1: Veggie box scheme. Continue to develop and secure plans for launch of following two services.
- Make and luanch mini film about the farm to support fundsraising effort for the barn restoration project.
- Secure funding for barn project; convertion into a dairy and education centre
- Launch successful media campaign raising public awareness of the farm, encouraging support and growth.
- Build relationshps with local councils, enterprise officers, like minded figures in Costessey area in preparation for launch of services 2 and 3 over coming years.
- Launch new website, move banking from community to business.
Year four - 2016/17 - the year it gets serious
- Barn project to convert into dairy and education centre.
- Introduction of first family memberships with necessary insurances, health and safety safeguards in place.
- Second year of veggie box scheme
- Intorduction of either dairy goats of conservations pigs to the farm, as well as chickens.
- Project with local authorities.
- Plant orchard of fruit and nut trees. Continue to develop farming methods and research.
Year five - 2017/18 - the year the journey begins again
- First contracts and programmes will be developed with schools and charity groups, aiming at specific education, rehabilitation or holistic outcomes.
- Second year of memberships and third year of veg box scheme. Continue to grow and develop.
- A thorough review into the five years, and what the next five years will look like.