Tamara Hall  -  Does community supported agriculture offer a viable alternative for the producer and consumer?

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

Background to my project:

I started my education with an Engineering Degree, did a detour to Art College & ran my own bespoke tailoring business in Leeds for much of my twenties then came back to run the family farm in 2004.

Since then I have revolutionised the 1,250 acre Molescroft Grange Farm with 10% of the farm managed primarily for the environment, over 60 educational visits last year, including starting 'Open Farm School Days' with 1,000 visits over the week & which will become a national event in 2014 to run alongside Open Farm Sunday after being pilot this year. We are also host for 'Let Nature Feed Your Senses' and the farm is now LEAF Marque audited.

The latest project has been opening a 65 plot community allotment on the farm and I am planning to build on this success since being lucky enough to be selected to receive a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study direct marketing and Community Supported Agriculture.

We are also in the process of helping a local football club get funding to set up a large playing fields area on the farm as well as enabling Beverley Rugby Club to relocate onto the farm. This is on one of the poorer areas of arable land. It it intended to be of a sufficient size to be a sports hub for the town but within walking distance for good access.

Other recent achievements:

Yorkshire Conservation & Farming Director (was Yorkshire FWAG)
Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS) Council Member
YAS Grants & Education committee member
Tye Trophy winner in 2009 and now a regional judge.
2013 award for outstanding contribution to local agriculture from Driffield Agricultural Society.

Aims of project:

Build on general interest in local food & large waiting list for our allotments.

Find a way to connect consumers back to their food; health benefited & pleasure of food

Reduced food chains; long food chains = incredibly wasteful. They can be efficient in their large scale production methods but by the time they reach the consumer, & by offering every type of veg every day in the supermarket, they become wasteful.

Keep more labour on farms; the happiest people work in farming (national survey 2012) but numbers declining rapid.

Highly processed food is best for long food chains but much worse for human health.

Seasonal food is much better environmentally and healthier. It also tastes better.

Slowly grown varieties of plants and slowly produced meat has higher nutrient value but too expensive for long supply chains.