Visit to Norwich CSA

Tierney and Haditha from Norwich CSA (Norwich Farmshare) had invited us along with other interested people to take a look at how Norwich Farmshare were doing things, up in Postwick near the edge of the city. Thanks to Tierney, Christophe, Haditha and everybody who welcomed us and gave us a very interesting tour round their operation.

Tierney explaining the rotation strategy up at the far end of the site

There were quite a few visitors from other parts of East Anglia – Diss CSA, Saxmundham, as well as quite a few other people interested in the great work they’ve been doing. Lucy, Kate, Fraser and Gemma came up with me, thanks to Lucy for driving us up there.

Haditha (L, with little one) who arranged the visit for us and grower Tierney (R)

Norwich Farmshare rents about 8 acres from a farmer in Postwick, with two growers, Tierney and Christoph, with help from Eric on the finances and some more help with admin. They’ve got about 90 members at the moment, with a different, more central distribution point for the veg that at the Oak Tree. Everything is harvested and taken into Norwich distribution point (near Magdalen street?) on a Thursday afternoon/evening, and members weigh their shares out and pick them up from the distribution centre. Postwick is a little bit of a way out from the city, so this is a way of working with the location of the farm and the members.

all of us by the shipping container used as a shed

Norwich is into its first year of operation, and growing for 90 people clearly keep Tierney and Christophe extremely busy, indeed it looked like they were run off their feet with work and we all really appreciated them taking some time out of their busy schedule to show us round. They also have consultancy from William, Josiah and Waveney Organics.

They have more machinery than we have at The Oak Tree, including this lovely little secondhand tractor and a range of tools

Norwich CSA tractor and tools

Like us, Christophe and Tierney have two polytunnels, one which they were getting ready and the other already had produce growing in it and providing content for the boxes, including purslane.

Christoph showing us where the beans will go in the polytunnel

At the moment there aren’t any animals at Postwick, as they have their hands full with the day to day running of the scheme.

The second polytunnel with purslane, kale and other crops being harvested

Volunteers working on the land at Norwich CSA

All in all thanks to Tierney, Christophe, Eric, and Haditha for a fascinating tour and an insight into the project. I attended one of the early meetings of Norwich CSA before they had found a site, and it was good to see the ideas turned into something which was delivering real food to members.

 

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