About Common Soil
Common Soil is a community farm, also known as a community supported agriculture (CSA) project. We are a group of local people who grow food together, supported by the wider local community – some of us are paid for our work, some of us volunteer regularly, some get involved when they can, some come to celebrate with us, some offer their support by buying the produce, some are neighbours who jump in to help when six tonnes of compost is delivered!
The point is that none of us could do it alone. The farm is carried through the year by the wider community. All those who buy veg boxes are members of the farm and share times of abundance and still offer support in leaner times. Read more about the community supported agriculture model.
Vision and why we do it
Our vision is of people connected to, nourished by, and working in harmony with, the natural environment to produce food locally. We set up Common Soil because we believe that:
- Producing food locally, without chemicals and with respect for the land and biodiversity, makes such an important contribution to reducing carbon emissions, limiting damage to the environment and our health.
- Everyone should have access to nutritious food and the opportunity to have a say over where their food comes from and how it’s produced (food justice and food sovereignty).
- Growing food is such a nourishing community activity to be involved in, bringing back lost connections.
- The environmental and political issues we are all living through highlight the importance of producing what we can locally, with short supply chains.
What we offer
Our mission is to provide good food for our community and create a place where people can connect with food growing, the land and each other. To do this we offer:
- A membership scheme where people can become part of the farm community.
- Year-round, regular, chemical-free vegetable boxes, supplemented by herbs and fruit.
- Opportunities for people, including vulnerable individuals, to engage with the food growing and support their health, nourishment, purpose, skills and sense of belonging.
- Seasonal celebrations, farm tours and workshops around food production to support learning and to enjoy the produce together.
- A space for regular activity groups to run so that people can use the farm space to connect to each other and to nature.
- The chance for members to have a say in how the farm is run and food is produced and to support the growers through all the seasons.
Common Soil is a non-profit co-operative, registered as a Community Benefit Society and all members have a share in the Society. Although some people are paid for their regular work, it’s a non-profit organisation. This means that any surplus funds will be re-invested into the farm, for the benefit of the community. We do it for the love of food, love of nature and love of our community. Read more about our structure.
The name, Common Soil, captures the fact we come together around the soil. It’s a shared resource, gifted to us all – people, animals, microbes. Healthy soil creates healthy food, healthy people and environments. We respect it, care for it, feed it, and it does the same for us.
“Soil. Earth. Dirt. Call it what you will, it’s the element of agriculture, of farmland.”
― John Lewis-Stempel, The Running Hare; The secret life of farmland.