Coldhams cofarm, Cambridge

Our first co-farming project is to establish a community farm with and for residents of Cambridge City, UK. We have a farm tenancy on a beautiful and tranquil 7-acre field right next to Coldhams Common - a very special green space for Cambridge residents. You might just be able to make out the stadium lights at Cambridge United Football Club in the background of the picture above.

The field has not been farmed for a couple of years and so had become home to some quite impressive thistles, so we certainly have our work cut out for us in transforming the field into a productive community farm! In early February, we enlisted the help of our partners at Cambridge City Council to assist with ‘topping’ the thistles with tractors and mowing gear. This has given us a head-start in preparing the land for growing organic fruit, vegetables, flowers, herbs and medicinal plants with and for the local community. Tackling the thistles early in the season meant we wouldn’t disturb any ground-nesting birds who may set up home.

Tractor treads on the farm. We’ll try to keep use of heavy machinery to an absolute minimum as the farm becomes established, but getting on top of the thistles at the start of the Spring was a priority. Image with kind permission of  Jonathan Mbu: Pura Vida Photography.

Tractor treads on the farm. We’ll try to keep use of heavy machinery to an absolute minimum as the farm becomes established, but getting on top of the thistles at the start of the Spring was a priority. Image with kind permission of Jonathan Mbu: Pura Vida Photography.

Our lovely field from above. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Our lovely field from above. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

NEXT STEPS

We are currently hard at work raising funds to employ a Farm Manager and a Community Facilitator to support the local community in co-creating their own farm. We also need to raise funds to buy all of the tools, equipment, materials and basic infrastructure required to be able to welcome people onto the farm and give them a great experience.

Of course, we’d love to hear from anyone who feels able to help with grants and donations, sponsorship, loans or equipment.

We’re also getting out talking to prospective partners - who are all as excited as we are about getting going once we’ve taken care of various necessary administrative tasks (registration, insurances etc.)

community farm consultation: saT 30th march at horizon resource centre, Coldhams Lane

We ran our first open, drop-in community consultation event next to the farm at the Horizon Resource Centre on Saturday 30th March 2019. The purpose of the event was to gather local views and ideas on how we can make the farm as special a place as possible and meet the needs and expectations of everyone who would like to get involved with it.

It was a great day, with 147 people turning up to find out more and share their thoughts about the farm. Thanks for your patience while we sort through all the great ideas that were captured. We’ll write a blog post once we’ve completed that process.

If you were unable to make it, or perhaps didn’t hear about it until now, please head over to our online survey, so we can have a listen to how you feel about the community farm and how you may like to get involved. If you did join us then thank you and please do complete the survey too. (You can skip any questions you feel you answered on Saturday 30th.)

The site has some interesting habitats, like Coldhams Brook, which is home to many different species. We aim to increase the number of different plants and animal species found on and around the farm. Image with kind permission of  Jonathan Mbu: Pura Vida Photography

The site has some interesting habitats, like Coldhams Brook, which is home to many different species. We aim to increase the number of different plants and animal species found on and around the farm. Image with kind permission of Jonathan Mbu: Pura Vida Photography

Gallery

Click on the image below to move on through the gallery. If you’d like to share any images you take while you’re at the site please email them to us and we’ll add them to the gallery.