New growers and farmers wanted to kick-start market gardening enterprises

    Tamar Grow Local CIC are looking for new growers and farmers wanting to kickstart horticultural enterprises in the Tamar Valley.

     

    The community-interest-company has an established network of 1-acre starter plots called Mill Lane Acres for people who want to begin, or scale up, their own horticultural business in West Devon and South East Cornwall.

     

    Simon Platten from Tamar Grow Local said: “Access to small parcels of land can be very difficult, especially for those from non-farming families or for those who do not have the resources to lease larger areas of land on a long-term basis. Our farm-start plots are a great way to move from recreational growing into experimenting with larger scale and commercial production with help and support along the way.”

     

    Mill Lane Acres is already home to Native Flower Farm, Rabbit Acre, Tamar Valley Vines and an experimental orchard. Tenant John Lewis from Rabbit Acre said: “The plots at Mill Lane provide an ideal situation for new growers to try out their ideas and scale up their growing activities whilst managing risk through short, renewable leases”.

     

    Access to markets for tenant’s produce is key to their commercial success so Tamar Grow Local offers a number of different routes for selling fresh produce including farmers markets - both online and in person in the local area, opportunities for co-operative growing to increase volume in order to access larger contracts and help with distribution.

     

    The Tamar Valley was famed for its market gardening and fruit production, based on its unique microclimate and long growing season. However, a number of factors put the industry in decline from the 1950’s, with less than half the area now in active production. With projects such as Mill Lane Acres and an increasing appetite for local food, it is hoped that the Tamar Valley will see a new generation of market gardeners emerging to meet the demand for high quality locally grown food.

    Mill Lane Acre plots are supplied with a polytunnel and 1000 litre water container. Mill Lane Acres was established in 2015 with investment from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, UnLtd and The Plunkett Foundation. For further details, contact info@tamargrowlocal.org or call (01579) 208412