Stroud Community Agriculture Ltd is a community-led enterprise, which is developing a local farming business to produce fresh organic/biodynamic produce for its members. Members pay an annual membership and a further payment in order to receive produce including vegetables, pork and beef, and diversifying into other produce. The farm is certified organic and is influenced by biodynamic methods.
Stroud Community Agriculture is a new model for sustainable farming. It builds on cooperation and mutual support so that the risks and rewards of farming are shared between the farmers and consumers. The consumers commit themselves to supporting the farm and providing a fair income for the farmers. The farmers can then develop the health and fertility of the farm, its wildlife and environment. All the produce from the farm is shared between the supporting consumers or sold locally if there is a surplus.
Stroud Community Agriculture is a cooperative set up as an Industrial and Provident Society. Its aim is to integrate community and agriculture by managing a mixed, sustainable and environmentally responsible farm for the benefit of everyone involved. Stroud Community Agriculture provides consumers with wholesome, organic, locally-grown produce all year round. To cover some of the seasonal gaps in our production we buy in organic vegetables using local suppliers wherever possible.
Stroud Community Agriculture is managed by an elected ‘core group’ of volunteers who meet once a month. We hold public meetings to discuss the direction of the farm and it was at one of the first public meetings that the principles for the project were drawn up.
A diverse and productive organic/biodynamic farm is developing. We started growing vegetables on one acre in Brookthorpe in March 2002 and then moved to 23 acres around Hawkwood College, Painswick Old Road, Stroud, we now also farm 24 acres at Brookethorpe as well. We have two full time farmers growing organic/biodynamic vegetables, and rearing pigs, cows and sheep. In the long term we intend that, as the farm grows, we can build up a dairy herd, keep chickens, grow hard and soft fruit and do more food processing.
You can collect produce direct from the farm or from a local pick-up point. We encourage members to collect vegetables for each other. To make this easier to organise and to help build a community around the farm we encourage members to share their contact details. If you are happy to share your details, please let us know by ticking the box on the joining form. We will give all supporters a list showing everyone’s name, phone number and which area they come from (e.g. Uplands, Nailsworth, Matson…).
All members of the co-operative can choose to get involved with the life of the farm and join specific working groups. As well as receiving fresh, local organic/biodynamic produce, members are encouraged to join in with the development of the farm and enjoy social and cultural events for all ages.
Everyone is welcome to visit the farm at any time, join in our celebrations, come to the quarterly public meetings and receive the newsletter.
The Stroud Community Agriculture project also welcomes people who would like to join the community purely for the social benefits. As the project succeeds we hope it will expand to other farms and enterprises so that more people can get involved in this way of farming.
The joining form gives details of the cost of membership and vegetable shares from our farm.