About The Oak Tree Community Farm
Welcome to the Oak Tree Community Farm located on the outskirts of Ipswich.
The Oak Tree is a Community Supported Agriculture Scheme, which means it is a partnership between the farm and the local community, providing mutual benefits and reconnecting the people to the land where their food is grown.
In practice we are a bit like a shared allotment – a large one with around 200 people helping at the farm on a regular basis!
It all began in 2010 with an empty conventional arable field on the edge of Ipswich. After decades of industrial agricultural use the soil was very poor, with little organic matter and low biodiversity. The Farm’s original founder Joanne Mudhar established a market garden enterprise on the site with a vision to grow a range of fresh fruit and vegetables for local people.
In the first few years the market garden project evolved gradually into Suffolk’s first Community Supported Agriculture project. Established as a Community Interest Company in 2012, a growing group of local people worked together to nourish the soil, build our infrastructure, and grow diverse, fresh and nutritious produce.
Over the years we have gradually expanded what we do as more people have got involved, seeing the benefits of reconnecting to the land and enjoying a weekly box of freshly harvested produce. When Joanne moved on to pastures new, the community was able to take on the farm and continue do develop, leasing the land from landowners Kiln Farm, who are exceptionally supportive in everything we do.
Head grower Ryan joined the farm in 2016 (after working on a similar project in Canada) and now leads the production of over sixty weekly veg boxes for our growing membership. His hard work and our improving soil and infrastructure has begun to demonstrate a truly sustainable model for regenerative agriculture. Every year we are sequestering carbon into the soil, improving soil ecology and biodiversity, while producing nutritious fresh produce for local people. Our no-dig garden has surpassed all of our expectations in terms of further increasing productivity, while our flock of hens, fruit orchard and flower gardens increase the diversity of produce for our members.
Meet the team
Co-ordinating the Farm
As a Community Interest Company we have four directors who take various roles in keeping The Oak Tree Community Farm running behind the scenes. Their work is voluntary and unpaid. They meet regularly as a team with Ryan, The Oak Tree’s Head Grower to co-ordinate the overall running of the farm, discuss and resolve challenges, and plan the development and direction of the farm.
You’ll meet more of the team around our website (and on the farm!).