A new scheme bringing sustainably grown vegetables to communities is one of many green initiatives benefiting from Somerset County Council’s Climate Emergency Community Fund.
The ‘Good Vibe Veg’ project in Horner, West Somerset is one the many green schemes being supported by the County Council’s £1 million investment.
It’s widely recognised that local, small-scale food growing is good for the planet and can offer a wide range of benefits for individuals and communities.
This innovative project, set in beautiful countryside near Porlock, has already begun supplying vegetables to a local farm shop and to local people, reaping the benefits of ‘low carbon miles’ local produce.
Cllr David Hall, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Community Infrastructure, said: “Reducing our carbon footprint is not just about tackling the threat posed by climate change, it’s also about making the environment a better place – for people and for nature.
“With sustainability at its heart, this remarkable project is bringing significant benefits to health and wellbeing, building community resilience while giving a boost to the local economy.
“I must congratulate everyone who has worked hard make ‘Good Vibe Veg’ a success, and I am sure it will inspire others to think of ways they can do their bit to tackle the effects of climate change.”
Adam Reed, Head Grower and Project Lead, said: “It’s early days for ‘Good Vibe Veg’, but we are very proud and excited to be bringing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to Porlock Vale.
“With a real emphasis on ‘local food’, this model of small-scale, sustainable agriculture allows farmers and growers to make a reasonable living by growing quality, fresh, healthy food for and with their local community.
“For us, CSA should play a key role in the future of our food production, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to set up ‘Good Vibe Veg’ in our local area.”
The scheme has got off to a flying start with 30 volunteers producing courgettes, squashes, green beans, lettuce, cabbages and broccoli, to name just a few, with the very first veg boxes going out to local homes in July.
A new polytunnel will be used to grow produce for the autumn and winter as well as bringing on seedlings next spring.
‘Good Vibe Veg’ is following the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model and is one of a growing network of CSA schemes around the country.
The project uses “No-dig” and “Regenerative Agriculture” methods – “No dig” means they won’t be ploughing up the soil which in turn helps to keep carbon locked in, increasing soil health.
“Regenerative Agriculture” focuses on soil health, working alongside nature and eliminating the need for chemical pesticides and fertilisers, which often have a large carbon footprint.
The project was made possible thanks to support from Somerset County Council, Exmoor National Park, West Somerset Forum 21 and Holly and Mark at Horner Farm who leased the field to the project, with kind permission from the National Trust.
‘Good Vibe Veg’ is very grateful to Amy Willoughby from Plotgate Community Farm, near Glastonbury, for sharing her valuable knowledge and experience as a mentor to the project.
Thanks also go to Selworthy and Minehead Without Parish Council and the parish councils of Porlock, Wootton Courtenay and Luccombe for helping with bids for funding and for supporting the project.
‘Good Vibe Veg’ is fully subscribed for the current season, but anyone interested in becoming a member of the veg box scheme and receiving their weekly share of the harvest in 2022 can get in touch now.
For more information about the scheme, or to become a volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final touches are being made to the website which will go live shortly at www.goodvibeveg.org and you can follow and message the project on Instagram or Facebook at @goodvibeveg.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Climate Change is one of the most significant issues facing the world today. The effects are being felt already. In the UK, 2019 was the 11th warmest year on record, with the top 10 warmest all having occurred since 2002.
While the challenge of Climate Change is a global issue, everyone needs to play their part. Somerset County Council (SCC) declared a Climate Emergency in Spring 2019.
The main aim of SCC’s Climate Emergency declaration was to pledge to work with partners, individuals and community action groups across the county to identify ways to make Somerset carbon neutral by 2030 and to develop a Climate Emergency Strategy for Somerset.
The strategy, formally adopted in November 2020, is available at Somerset’s Climate Emergency Strategy.