Our land produces some healthy organic vegetables and meat that is enjoyed by the community, and the wider area the year round. A good deal of our resources are devoted to upkeep of the garden and farmland, for many people feel that outdoor work and connecting to the land and animals is rewarding and therapeutic.
In Camphill Grangebeg farming is a large part of our community identity. Our cattle and chickens are not simply a source of food, they are also part of the family and they form the heart of the health of our community by adding fertility to our land, which enables us to grow wonderful organic vegetables and fodder for them to eat.
We aim to become as self sufficient as possible. This means that we grow food for ourselves and our animals on our own land. The community currently employes local farmers part time and they help us to make hay for the cows, grow grain for the chickens and to plant and harvest a field of potatos which we sell locally.
Variety is essential to keep us healthy so we have also developed a market garden to provide us with a wide range of vegetables. We grow carrots, parsnips, beetroots, courgettes, lettuce,cabbages, calabrese, cauliflower, pumpkins, onions, peas, leeks and garlic outside and we expand our range inside our two large polytunnels. With the protection of plastic we are able to grow beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, aubergine and butternut squash. We also grow early and late varieties of outdoor crops in the tunnels to expand our season.
Because we are committed to healthy chemical free GM free food we have joined the OrganicTrust (http://www.organic-trust.org/about/) Certification body and sell our food under their logo. Grangebeg is also a member of the Rural Environmental Protection Scheme (REPS) and we aim to dedicate part of our land to the conservation of wildlife and the environment.
The next project in the farm and garden in Grangebeg is planting a small apple orchard and a variety of soft fruits such as raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries. Other work for the next year is extending our fencing to try and increase our productive land and we aim to incorporate sheep into the farm in spring 2010 to improve the diversity of our diet and produce.
The farm and garden forms the backbone of our working life and we try to operate in such a way that people with different needs and capabilities can fit in and play their part. To us growing food from the land and caring for the wellbeing of our animals is therapeutic, challenging and fun and we aim to learn more every day.