Fresh start to 2011 for Community Harvest Whetstone

Community Harvest WhetstoneOriginally published 10th February [Contributor: Sarah Wale]

Britain may have been hit by its harshest winter in many years but for a local Community Supported Agriculture group, the green shoots are starting to emerge and a successful spring is on the horizon.

Community Harvest Whetstone (CHW), based at Whetstone Pastures Farm, is welcoming new members, expanding in size and celebrating after being awarded a Climate Friendly Communities Grant by the Rural Community Council.

“We now have 25 crop sharers collecting their weekly vegetable boxes from the farm,” said CHW spokesman Dani Pattuzi.

“Thanks to the grant, we have been able to double the size of our polytunnel and are about to start work on a new rabbit-proof fence for our field.”

CHW started in early 2009 as an offshoot of Transition Leicester and was inspired by the Community Supported Agriculture approach. This is a system which turns consumers into crop sharers who, by paying ahead of receiving the produce, share in the risks and successes of farming. There’s also the added bonus of becoming part of a dynamic community of people who can meet regularly for social events, contribute to the work in the field and have a say on how the project is run.

Two growers maintain a small field and two polytunnels and, since March 2010, local crop sharers have been enjoying their weekly share of the harvest.

Five full shares are still available to interested parties; by 2012 this will rise to a total of 40 shares.

To help maintain the success of CHW, the group is looking to raise funds from the local community through a capital share offer. Shares valued at £1.00 each are offered in blocks of 100.

CHW also welcomes members who would like to support and be involved in the project, whether or not they want to subscribe to a weekly share of vegetables, to get involved at different levels and take part in social events and communal tasks.

Dani Pattuzzi said:

“This is an excellent opportunity to invest in a local project, producing healthy food, providing employment and helping to revive the community aspect of food production.”

CHW’s annual general meeting will be held on Saturday 2nd April for existing and new members and it will be followed by a Barn Dance open to supporters, friends and families.

For further information on joining CHW and its forthcoming events, visit the website (link below), email info@community-harvest-whetstone.org.uk or contact CHW’s treasurer Keith Campbell on 07860 388525.

You can also keep up to date with the project on Twitter (@CHWhetstone) or join its Facebook group.

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