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Read all about our AGM!

What a positive start to 2014! We can celebrate the biggest turn out for a Farmshare AGM. Thank you to all who were there to represent the Farmshare community and share ideas. The AGM was a great opportunity to hear the successes of Farmshare, the challenges, and the value of all the hard work by people involved in making Farmshare work as an ongoing entity. Plus we enjoyed a great opportunity to socialise whilst warming the winter chills with inspirational three soups from Farmshare vegetables made by Anne with a team of helpers.

Grower Mel welcomed in our new grower James before telling us a bit more about life on the farm. Weekly a mixture of members, volunteers and harvesters work on 2/3 of the 7 ½ acre site which is currently in cultivation. The year has been a challenge with a cold late spring and hot dry summer resulting in smaller vegetables and some crops being lost to weeds. She commented that we have amazing support but still need more members on the farm. Next year therefore, labour intensive vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and potatoes will be bought in from local organic suppliers and the use of the site reduced to a 1/3 to get better yield, make it more manageable and reduce wastage. Mel showed how every volunteer hour on the farm counts and means that things can be more productive.

Harriet celebrated Farmshare’s extended links – with Norwich Foodcycle where we send surplus vegetables, and social schemes ‘Bikes & Beans’ and ASSIST working with learning disabilities whose volunteers work on the farm. This has added a critical diversity to the farm but these social projects can only be sustained with the aid of member contribution on the farm.

Richard thanked all those who have helped this year at the hub. The hub rota (as a Doodle) is now a link on the monthly newsletter (and here!).

Tom has taken over from Matt who has been in charge of Fruit share and cycle deliveries. If you are interested in a weekly share of fruit or wish to request certain fruit contact fruit@norwichfarmshare.co.uk. Requests for cycle deliveries or if you are interested in becoming a cyclist, contact info@norwichfarmshare.co.uk.

Nigel’s financial report shows that we currently have approx. 90 members. Outgoings are slightly more than membership is bringing in. We need approx. 115 members to be sustainable.

The AGM also gave an opportunity for all present to reflect on Farmshare’s successes and challenges to creatively develop 2014 goals for Farmshare.

Key actions for 2014 include:

  • Improving website and communications on current events (social media)

  • More promotion of Farmshare

  • Development of a membership pack

  • More regular social events (2 annual events and bi-monthly ‘Hub to Pub’ gatherings)

  • Farm sessions – continuation of summer sundown sessions and earlier starts on summer Saturday member days

  • Community composting plan for the farm

  • Encouraging the use of the hub to sell more

For full details of these actions and the groups working on them see our  minutes:

Norwich Farmshare AGM 25th January 2014

The core group meet every second Tuesday at 1 Kerrison Rd at 7pm. All are welcome if you would like to contribute ideas. Dates will be put in newsletter.

There is a still a renewed call for members to come to Farmshare with their time or skills – be it on the farm, at the hub or in any other role they can. A key message came from the AGM – people felt that this is so much more than a veg box scheme – ‘this is their farm!’ and the hard work paid off by being such a positive experience for so many.

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