I am delighted to announce that Eric Nelson will be joining the farm full time from 1st April. No April fool this news, and I would ask you to shake Eric by the hand and say “thank you” to him next time you see him as he is giving up a well paid job at BT to work on the farm for far, far less money. All of us, as CSA members, will benefit from Eric’s tireless good humour, and considerable experience in Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture. So let’s make sure we make it a smooth and enjoyable transition for him!
As many of you know, Eric is a director of the farm not-for-profit Community Interest Company, and he has already put an enormous amount of time and effort into the farm since joining as a founder member of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Scheme four years ago. Indeed the CSA itself was his idea, as were the chickens and the cows…
Eric has generously agree to work (on a self employed basis) for £300 per month plus food until September this year to ease the farm finances, when he will receive the current Oak Tree “full time” rate which stands at £850 per month plus food. The observant reader may have noticed that this full time rate, currently paid to Tom and I, has gone up (from 1st March) from £750. This is part of our aim to get the all people who do full time work on the farm onto a living wage, which is easier said than done as we are trying to produce food in a sustainable way while being financially self-sufficient, all in the face of a Common Agricultural Policy subsidy system that doesn’t even recognise we exist (we are too small at under 5 hectares – we have 4.96!) and a fossil fuel powered industrial agriculture that all too often gives us poor quality food that damages the environment and is horrendously cruel to animals – but it is cheap.
To all CSA members: thank you for your commitment to The Oak Tree. We simply couldn’t do this without your goodwill and concrete commitment of time and money to support the farm!