Orrell community farm wins growing support

ARE you interested in ‘growing your own’ in Billinge and Orrell?

A public meeting is being held at Orrell St Luke’s Church Hall on Wednesday September 26 (7.45pm) to gauge interest in a proposal to create a community farm at the council’s former Greenslate project.

The “exciting and unique in this area” community supported agriculture scheme is being led by Billinge and Orrell Transition Town supported agriculture scheme on the seven acre site of a former education farm in Orrell which has lain “virtually unused” for the past two decades before the group successfully negotiated with the council to consider transferring it to local community use.

They plan private and community allotments, but the unit will also function as a small farm with field scale crops, livestock, bees and an orchard, all based on permaculture principles using organic methods that re-use all waste and avoid the need to import materials. The scheme hopes to provide a wide range of opportunities for education and training from nursery age to apprenticeships, as well as opportunities for therapeutic uses for example by people with special needs, plus a venue for training in traditional crafts and other skills.

Produce from the site will be sold locally helping to localise the community’s food supply and raising awareness of the cost and environmental impact of transporting food across the country and from abroad. In addition the project will provide a hub for the community and will help to sow the seed of local resilience to environmental and economic crisis by conserving traditional skills, encouraging people within the local area to value and share the skills they have, and promoting community engagement in production of food and goods. Further details from Kath Godfrey on 07764 655711.