SCOOP, the Sustainable Cooperative, has launched a series of Farm Open Days, inviting Islanders to meet and engage with some of the Island’s most invaluable growers and producers.
From organic smallholdings, to farms of various sizes, all SCOOP’s growers share an interest in nurturing local ecological habitats, protecting our natural resources and producing wonderful food.
Farm Open Days are aimed at those interested or actively involved in sustainable regenerative farming practices and local food systems. They look to create a network of support among existing growers and those who might be considering a farming future, while also connecting local producers with consumers, to foster a greater understanding and appreciation towards the work they do to provide for the local community. A tour of each farm will be followed by some delicious food, prepared with some of the ingredients grown or produced on the site.
The first Open Day takes place at ‘La Source’ in St Ouen on Sunday 8 May, with organic smallholders Helen Weston and Mark Forskitt, who grow a range of vegetables, orchard apples and soft fruits, while experimenting with more unusual crops, such as Oca Potatoes and Yacon.
This will be followed by some food at Birdsong Garden, a local charity and permaculture project situated on part of the smallholding.
Dates of visits to participating growers:
La Source / Birdsong Garden Sunday, May 8th 2:00 PM
Greengro Sunday, June 12th 3:00 PM
Jersey Tea Company Sunday, June 26th 2:00 PM
Dave Priaulx Sunday July 17th 2:00 PM
Jersey Zoo Sunday, July 31st 2:00 PM
Le Tacheron Saturday, August 14th 2:00 PM
Sprouts Club Saturday, August 27th 4:00 PM
Anneville Farm Saturday, September 17th 4:00 PM
Blanc Pignon Dates tbc 2/4PM
Forge Farm, St John (tbc)
Further growers are hoping to join in 2023
Kaspar Wimberley of SCOOP said: ‘On founding the Sustainable Cooperative in 2018, we soon realised that many of our growers were not in regular contact with one another and rarely visited each others farms. We started organising yearly grower gatherings to discuss the year ahead. Growers soon started to support one another with practical help and by sharing their experiences. We felt that an opportunity for local growers to observe each other’s work first hand would help facilitate a deeper exchange of knowledge and stronger, more supportive relationships.
‘Brexit, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the continued struggles of the Island’s agricultural sector, most recently with the loss of the Island’s largest mixed vegetable farm, demonstrate how precarious our supply of food can be and how reliant we currently are on imported food.
‘With much of our land devoted to an export crop, our growers present a progressive vision for smaller scale, mixed and biodiverse farming in Jersey that is grown for the local market. We will need to support their work, learn from their experiences and encourage others to follow in their footsteps if we hope to improve our food security and create a more resilient and sustainable supply of local food.’
Individuals wishing to reserve a space on one of SCOOP’s Farm Open Days should email email@example.com or visit https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/scoop-open-days-2022-319509