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19th May 2014

Let’s get building

At the heart of our farm…

we find our members and our farmers, but where can we meet, learn together and keep warm?

Farmer Sam recently gathered a team of farm members to get work going on our own straw-bale building. 

The aim is to provide indoor and outdoor space for farm-related social and learning events and shelter for the farm team.

Our current barn at Hawkwood is nice for the cows but does not meet these other needs well.  Improving facilities for storing, collecting and buying produce might also be something a new building could do.

The team is working together on all aspects of design, fundraising and how we expect to deliver the build and operate the building.

Hawkwood College, from whom we lease our land at Hawkwood, are keen to look at new ways to accommodate their courses related to food and cooking.  We are therefore working closely with them on this proposal.

If you like the sound of giving our farm the heart it needs, here are some ways you can help:

1. Raise funds

2. Manage the project

3. Help build it

The project promises fun, challenge, and the chance to work with other farm members.  If you have seen good practice elsewhere let us know, or stand by the big tree by the barn, scratch your head and let us know what you think.  Thanks.

How you can help, in more detail:

1. Raise funds

Some members already make voluntary contributions towards capital projects on the farm.  Having a stake of our own to put forward will be an essential part of making bids for external funding.  Any member who wishes to add an amount to their monthly standing order towards the SCA capital fund should contact Carol Mathews: carol@carolmathews.co.uk .  You can also support the bursary fund, which widens access to farm membership, in the same way.  How all donated money is spent is overseen by the core group.

If you would like to organise fundraising activities or events for the project please contact a member of the core group to let us know you are interested and to agree any proposals.

2. Manage the project

Around ten members of the farm have volunteered to develop and run the project so far, they have a variety of relevant skills and experience.  Work done in previous years has been taken into account.   The project group includes Farmer Sam and also Bruno Sabin and Sally Daley who are currently on the core group.  To offer info and ideas or to take a role in the group please contact: samueljhardiman@hotmail.com; sallydaley@hotmail.com; brunosabin@yahoo.com .

3. Help build it

When the time comes we will need physical help.  For instance if we invite an expert straw-bale builder to run a straw-bale building course we will need people to pay to attend the course, and in this way get the main structure completed.  There will be plenty of other work needed to prepare the site and to get the building ready for use.