Multi-enterprise hubs on County farms

Our invitation to our local authorities.

 

Our Proposal

Convert County farms into multi-enterprise hubs for rent by small enterprises growing regeneratively for local markets.

Each enterprise has a 2-10 acre parcel of land with a ~10 year lease, basic infrastructure, access, a home and access to shared business facilities.

The housing and shared facilities are gathered together in a settlement around existing farm buildings in a “village” community.

This creates an entry into farming for many more new starters, as well as more training opportunities. It also addresses key ecological and community needs, as required by the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.

Regenerative farming for local markets

Regenerative farming is a set of planned agricultural practices that ensure farmland is enriched over time rather than depleted.

Key elements include minimal soil disturbance (sometimes known as no-till or no-dig), using diverse crop varieties and cover crops, rotational grazing, and agroforestry.

Using state-of-the-art techniques of efficiency, regenerative horticulture can:

  • be profitable
  • create about 1 job per acre
  • produce a lot of food in a small area – seasonal veg for 50-100 families per acre.
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Benefits of Regenerative Farming for Local Markets:
implementing the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act

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Local Ecology and Health

Regenerative growing sequesters carbon in the soil by building soil health.

Regenerative growing proactively builds biodiversity within and above the soil.

Regenerative farming is organic.

A local, organic, seasonal diet is naturally low in carbon emissions.

Food consumed very soon after harvesting has a higher nutritional density.

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Economy and Community

More jobs on the land. High-productivity regenerative horticulture, for example, employs 1 person/acre, without subsidies. Small-scale farming is a more affordable option for new entrants.

Farmers and other residents trading together strengthens communities economically and socially.

When local farmers own the local supply chains, they retain more of the profit in the local economy.

Local food supply creates resilience in the context of increasingly unstable international food supply chains.

Benefits of Stacked Enterprise Farms

A pathway into farming for more people, at a more realistic scale of land.
Economies of scale through collaboration between farms, e.g. collective buying, joint marketing and sales.
Supply of healthy nutrient-rich food for the public plate.
Opportunities for experimental growing for a changing local climate and for testing new off-grid small-farm technologies.
Educational and training opportunities for local young people.

This model is not new in our region. In the 1930s-50s, Monmouthshire County Council ran Leechpool Farm this way, dividing its 329 acres into 40 small farms with homes.

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If you are interested in these ideas, please get in touch.

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