FarmStart is an innovative 'incubator' project for new organic producers. It aims to bridge the gap between having an allotment or volunteering on farms, to becoming a commercial organic producer in Greater Manchester. It is designed to get more local organic food produced for Manchester by incubating a brand new generation of growers!
It was launched by The Kindling Trust in 2013 in partnership with Abbey Leys Farm, out at High Legh in Cheshire. Access to land, capital and lack of experience are all big barriers to starting a farming career, this project aims to overcome them by providing a space for new growers to trial their farming business ideas in a low-risk setting.
The farm is just 15 miles to the south-west of Manchester, on flat, fertile land. When new growers join they benefit from access to certified organic land, on-going training and mentoring, market access and peer support. This is a chance to see if farming suits them, and to put their ideas to the test. As their business proves itself viable, they can choose to expand on to further ¼ acre sections each year, until year 6, when they will be ready to move onto their own farms.
In 2013 FarmStart supplied fruit and veg to us as well as a variety of restaurants and caterers through Manchester Veg People. We’re looking forward to more in the future!
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