#6 QofR: Aldermoor Farm

Visit to Aldermoor Community Farm, Southampton, October 2016: Chickens, Ducks, Permaculture, Tea, Volunteers, Manure, Hydroponics…

It was a pleasure to meet Richard and his volunteers at Aldermoor farm. They grow such a wide range of fruits and vegetables and have been very creative in the way they use permaculture methods (growing certain things next to each other in order to help plants flourish i.e nitrogen fixing plants). They also use an aqua/hydroponics system to grow seedlings. The water comes from the stream into the pond, where food scraps are thrown in and little fish break them down making this water really rich in nutrients. The water is then filtered into the poly tunnel and through a series of gravel filled beds…it gradually becomes cleaner and cleaner but still retains nutrients. in the sixth bed along the line the team have started to grow salad leaves directly from the water, suspended in polystyrene. In the last bed there is a small amount of soil on top of the gravel where there are seedlings being grown. The excess water is then directed back to the pond and the whole cycle starts over again. Richard informed me that this is a work in progress and a bit of an experiment. It seems to be working well so far and so could be used on a larger scale eventually.

The farm also provides opportunities for businesses to spend a day working on team building projects like constructing poly tunnels, fencing and pergolas in order to fulfill their promises to help a project that concentrates on protecting and nurturing the local community and environment.

Any one can get involved with the project and you can give as much time as you can manage. The general atmosphere is one of positivity, community and creativity…fueled by plenty of tea! The project subverts the norm, demonstrating that projects and communities can thrive without money (maybe a little to keep the place running!), with volunteers happily giving their time in exchange for the feeling of responsibility, a chance to be creative and productive and a network of like minded and friendly people.

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Aldermoor community farm. (2013, April ). Retrieved October 6, 2016, from http://aldermoorfarm.org.uk

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