Diss community farm puts out urgent appeal for new members

A COMMUNITY farm is urgently appealing for new members to join to help the popular food hub expand and pay for improved facilities.

The Diss community farm needs to find an extra �5,000 to pay for a new poly tunnel at its current base at Church Farm in Winfarthing and in the long term an extra 3.6 acre site at Friends Field, off Snow Street in Roydon.

To do so, the farm also needs to find new members on top of the existing 40 people who have already bought shares in the farm and is aiming for an extra 80 members.

Gary Alexander, the farm’s co-chairman, revealed the target at a meeting at St Mary’s Church Hall in Diss on Sunday to give an update on the farm’s progress and try to attract new members.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage self-sufficiency and sustainability so people no longer relied on the supermarkets for food and members who buy shares will then receive a certain amount of the produce, which is currently collected at Roydon Village Hall, but will soon be changing venue to the Diss Youth Resource Base in Shelfanger Road. Shares can be bought in livestock and vegetable projects and there are five pigs on the farm.

Mr Alexander said the co-operative farm had produced more food than the number of shares bought, in which case the food was carefully divided up between the membership.

He added the farm worked closely with other co-operatives at Stroud, Ipswich and Norwich and shares in the Diss project were roughly the same price as the cheapest shares in the Norwich scheme.

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A series of social events for the Diss farm members are held throughout the year when they can enjoy food produced at the Winfarthing base.

Money raised from the extra membership will help to pay for facilities for the new Roydon farm including bore holes.

Mr Alexander said: “We are not in it to make money, but we do have to cover our costs and we are trying to pioneer a different food system. We are a co-operative for the benefit of the community.”

If you are interested in being part of Diss Community Farm then contact membership secretary Sue Pitt at dcfmembers@yahoo.co.uk. Alternatively, find out more by visiting www.disscommunityfarm.wordpress.com.