This vision has been made possible through the successful raising of over £1.3 million in community shares and a £600,000 loan from Triodos Bank.
Operating as a community benefit society, the farm aims to implement sustainable agricultural practises to protect the natural environment and support the local community.
Fostering positive change
The farm's main focus is a tunnel and field-scale production of organic fruits and vegetables, combining both traditional and modern farming practises that prioritise the environment, aiming to raise awareness about wildlife protection, climate change and sustainable farming techniques. Farming methods primarily revolve around agroforestry, incorporating trees and shrubs into the landscape to benefit soil health biodiversity and carbon emission reduction.
Kindling Farm’s commitment to such a holistic and ecologically responsible approach serves as an example for the future of farming, promising not only productive harvests but also a more environmentally conscious ethos - reshaping the food system’s impact on climate change and biodiversity loss.
The vision includes the creation of a social enterprise hub, with an overarching aim to foster discussions on climate change solutions and nurture relationships between likeminded people. These plans are backed by a large support network ready to turn ideas into a reality.
Ideas include inviting schools to the farm throughout the year where students learn about food production and where their food comes from, while the flower fields are expected to supply a range of industries including weddings and funerals across the Northwest.
Supporting the community
At the core of everything Kindling does is a strong sense of community. This community is part of a global movement advocating for food sovereignty which originated from small farmers in the global South - rejecting corporate control of agriculture and advocating for people's rights to shape and manage their own ecological food systems.
Helen Woodcock, co-founder and co-ordinator at Kindling, explains: “We want to create a food system in the Northwest that values growers and producers, respects and restores the land and prioritises the health and wellbeing of communities. If we want to make this vision a reality, we need to scale up what we’re doing and Kindling Farm will allow us to take that important step forward.”
Kindling provides training programmes including a commercial grower’s course and various volunteering opportunities, plus collaborates with various entities such as Veg Box People, which offers affordable organic projects for households. Kindling’s mission is to empower both urban and rural communities, fostering sustainable food economies that, in turn, create meaningful livelihoods by delivering training and nurturing innovative enterprises.
Speaking about the new finance, Jess Edwards, Relationship Manager at Triodos Bank UK, adds: “We’re very supportive of Kindling Farm’s vision of promoting sustainable farming practices, supporting local farmers, creating jobs and producing healthy, organic food while involving the local community. This project has the potential to make a significant social impact while protecting and prioritising nature and we hope it offers inspiration for similar projects across the country.”.