Growing Well - a day at the farm
Beren, Growing Well's Project Coordinator, tells us what a day at the farm is like for them.
Growing Well is a certified organic farm based just south of Kendal. We grow a wide range of crops both in the field and in the polytunnels. We supply a wide range of seasonal produce to both the wholesale and retail markets. Read on to find out what a typical day at the farm is like for us.
The day at Growing Well kicks off at about 9.30am as the site Supervisor welcomes people to the farm and starts to explain the tasks of the day ahead. Sometimes the site Supervisor is a staff member, sometimes it’s a volunteer, but in each case they are working from the week’s plan which is developed by our growing coordinator.
Whilst some people are starting to open up the polytunnels, others are watering the plants on the benches. Then there’s others taking plants out of the propagation box, lighting woodburners, turning on the tea urn and thinking about the picking work that needs to be done.
Picking the crops normally happens first thing in the morning to make sure there is enough time to get all the orders prepared and packed for the project’s Community Supported Agriculture scheme (CSA). The Supervisor works off a picking list that has been generated by the volunteers in the admin team, located in a small office set back from the fields.
Volunteers at the project can get involved in different types of activities on the farm. As they get more confident they may lead a small team picking mixed salad for our Community Supported Agriculture scheme (CSA) or directing a team of six to work with the tractor and planting machine to get a bed of broccoli planted.
Whilst all this is going on, a group of students have settled into our yurt-based classroom for a lesson on how to grow seeds and a group of 20 five year-olds are snaking their way through the fields learning all about where their lunch has come from.
By the time our tea break is over at 11am, a team of volunteers has settled into our packing area next to the farm’s cow shed, waiting for tractor loads of produce to come off the fields so they can crate up the wholesale and CSA customers orders.
At around 12.30pm we’ll all stop for lunch. This is an important time in the day for us when everyone at the project comes together. The admin volunteers walk over from the office, the packers from the packing area, and the students and field volunteers all sit out in the sunshine and have lunch. Today, like, normal, the picking work is completed by lunch and so we spend the afternoon sowing more seeds.
Throughout the day our Ecominds volunteer coordinator sits down privately with volunteers, finding out how their work is going and what they want to achieve at Growing Well as part of their recovery process.
By 4pm, the packers have all the orders in the chiller ready for our customers to collect, and the volunteers are making their way across the fields, tired but satisfied with their hard day's work. Staff lock up and ensure everything is ready for the productive process to begin again tomorrow.
- Watch ITV Lookaround News' report on the Growing Well project