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We're part of a world-wide community movement in response to peak oil and climate change. This site gives you details of our up and coming events and meetings, as well as reports and related matters that are going on in Norwich and East Anglia.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture gets under way - 1 November

About 20 Transitioners met at the United Reformed Church on Monday September 13th to start making preparations for the CSA. The money is in place, the land is ready for us, and we've bought a tractor.

As Tully explained to the meeting, some aspects of the project are set out clearly in the funding application, but others are much more open for CSA members to determine.

Among the things that are clear are, for example, the plan to employ a full-time farm manager (shared betwen the CSA and the school farm) as well as more casual or part-time staff. Also the short-term role of East Anglia Food Link in helping to get the scheme established. EAFL's staff (William and Tully) are already working on getting the land subsoiled and mucked, drawing up the lease, buying the tractor, polytunnel and equipment and so on.

But other aspects are very much for the CSA's members to decide. At the meeting we agreed to set up working groups focusing on recruiting more members; arranging social events to build a sense of community and ownership in the CSA; finding the best arrangments for distributing the produce, for example through drop-off points around the city and beyond; and overseeing production to maximise environmental benefits, biodiversity and natural pest management. The meeting felt very strongly that the CSA needs to be Organic.

We have secured the services of The Guild (a Norwich-based consultancy specialising in social economy organisations) to help us to set up the new not-for-profit business (probably a co-op) which will run the CSA. Around 12 people have agreed to meet with The Guild to find out more about being on the Board of the new organisation, and to drive forward the process of setting it up.

The "Board" meeting is on October 5th and the "growing and environment" meeting on the 7th. The Marketing meeting on November 1st. If you're interested in joining any of these, please sign up to the Food Googlegroup and you'll get all the up-to-date information.

The business plan and budget that were used for the funding bid have been posted on the googlegroup too. If you're interested in reading in detail what's been promised to the funder, do have a look. (Tully Wakeman/Food and Farming)