Inside city's hidden three-acre farm manned by teenage volunteers
- Credit: Norwich Farmshare
Youngsters have worked tirelessly throughout lockdown to farm three acres of land hidden in the heart of the city.
Norwich Farmshare launched in 2008 with the aim of pioneering a cleaner, healthier future for the region and planet.
But in the past year the team of volunteers has grown to more than 650 people working on land in Postwick.
Part of a network 154 farms, the Community Supported Agriculture organisation now feeds some 55,000 people a week.
The produce from the farm is sold on a subscription basis to the nearby community.
You may also want to watch:
The farmshare at Whitlingham Nurderies also has a distribution centre where the goods are sold on a weekly basis.
For those who can't attend the hub at Wensum Sports Centre on Thursdays, the group also has a cycle delivery team.
- 1 'Our lives are being destroyed': Neighbours' despair over noisy students
- 2 Pupil taken to hospital after incident at Thorpe St Andrew school
- 3 'The final straw' - Bakery fears closure over council plans
- 4 Man found dead at Thorpe St Andrew home
- 5 Norwich named UK's most romantic destination
- 6 Diversions in place on A47 near Norwich due to flooding
- 7 City staff facing 'mass burnout' but what is behind the extreme exhaustion?
- 8 See inside this quirky bungalow for sale near Norwich railway station
- 9 Petrol attack shopkeeper opens spice shop and restaurant in former pub
- 10 Fresh plans for rooftop bar on St Stephens
The group says: "It’s about acting on beliefs in a sustainable eco-friendly future, it’s about tasty organic products. But more than that it’s about being part of a group of people who are fun and energetic and who are achieving great things outside in the fresh air.
"Our vision is to support food systems that educate, connect and empower local communities to be healthier and more resilient, to be rooted to the land and to each other, and to experience a direct relationship with how our food is produced."
Now, the faces behind the Norwich project have shared why it was so important for them to get involved.
Norwich-based Meghan Dunn, 20, said: "Small-scale, organic farming is incredibly valuable, especially when the produce is used locally.
“FarmShare is one model that shows it is possible to produce food without harming biodiversity and protecting the environment. It produces vegetables organically, which means that insects, birds and small mammals can live around the farm site without coming into contact with any poisonous pesticides or insecticides."
She added: “FarmShare is an exciting place to volunteer as a young person. We hear and learn about the importance of moving towards more sustainable farming methods, so it is really positive to see a project where they are being put into practice successfully and offering a more optimistic future for food production."
Dulcey Gebbett, a 14-year-old from Norwich, said: “I like being part of the cycle of sowing, planting, growing, harvesting and eating, rather than just being the consumer. I believe that young people should volunteer to enjoy the rewarding experience eating something that you have spent time growing and caring for yourself.
“After spending many an hour outside working on the farm I have come to appreciate the benefits of doing activities like this. It is very refreshing and I always return home feeling like a new person. Being outside always helps my mental wellbeing, when I am appreciating the beautiful nature around me, I often forget my troubles.”
Norwich Farmshare is also establishing a programme of working with schools to provide insight into how food is grown and how to eat healthily.
One of the youngest volunteers on the project is 10-year-old Ella Gebbett.
She said: “The value of local farming and an organic approach is it helps the environment, its great physical exercise in a chemical free place. It's good to get outside.”
Meghan added: “‘I think that it is vital for young people to learn where their food comes from, and what it takes to produce the food they see on supermarket shelves.
“If we gain a better understanding of the time, effort and extensive knowledge that is put into producing food for us, it may make us more appreciative of the meals on our table, and in turn less wasteful.”
Norwich Farmshare uses the Community Supported Agriculture model where members pay a subscription for a weekly bag of vegetables. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a young person who has a story to tell or would be interested in having your voice heard in the paper, please contact Sophie Skyring via email@example.com