Winter crop lost to weather at Norwich community farm

Norwich FarmShare members and volunteers. Picture: Matt Hall.

Norwich FarmShare members and volunteers. Picture: Matt Hall. - Credit: Matt Hall

A Norwich farm that helps to feed the community is in desperate need of new facilities to store and pack its vegetables.  

Norwich Farmshare’s vision is to support and educate food systems in the region empowering local communities to be healthier and to be rooted to that land.  

They hope to educate the region is how Its food is grown.  

Unfortunately, the farm lost between £250 and £500 worth of squash in recent weeks.  

Joel Rodker, who is the farm manager, said: “One of the issues that we are facing on site is that we do not have any infrastructure on site.  

Joel Rodker is the manager at the farm and hopes to educate people on growing veg so that they are able to waste less. 

Joel Rodker is the manager at the farm and hopes to educate people on growing veg so that they are able to waste less. - Credit: Norwich Farmshare

“This has resulted in us losing lots of squash and some garlic, there is no decent storage so we have to improvise. 

“This means the winter crop we rely on simply isn’t there.” 

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He added: “It has been a bad year for squash in general, we had a wet autumn, and we had a couple of early frosts, so they aren’t growing as they should which meant we were left with many that were too soft.” 

Norwich Farmshare hopes to be able to educate people about soft vegetables to encourage less food waste. 

Young people sort produce at Norwich Farmshare 

Young people sort produce at Norwich Farmshare - Credit: Norwich Farmshare

Mr Rodker said: “I hope that in the future we would simply be able to cut the soft bit off and that people would be fine understanding that with the soft part gone, the rest of the squash is perfectly fine.” 

With secure storage and packing space the farm would be able to increase their profit margins to enable them to invest more into what they’re growing.  

With the current storage, they are having to spend any profits on buying in organic veg to build up members veg boxes.  

Mr Rodker said: “With adequate storage we would have to buy in a lot less. 

“So, if we were able to grow loads of squash, we can put it in veg bags, but because we are losing it, we have to buy more which means profits go down so it's hard for us.” 

Youngsters get stuck in at Norwich Farmshare

Youngsters get stuck in at Norwich Farmshare - Credit: Norwich Farmshare

The farm is seeking a building for packing and or storage for their crop, if you can help please contact them via email: info@norwichfarmshare.co.uk 

To further support them, you can sign up for membership which includes weekly or fortnightly vegetable boxes.