Micro Farm Volunteers
To train a diverse volunteer base to lead new urban micro-farm spaces across the local area
About Custom Folkestone
Custom Folkestone is a community organisation working at the intersections of art, food, agroecology and activism. Their core activity 'The Locavore Growing Project' in Folkestone, Kent, connects people to where their food comes from, how it’s grown and its role in social, environmental and climate justice.
The funded project and its benefits
A grant of £5,000 was awarded to Custom to help train a diverse volunteer base to lead new urban micro-farm spaces across the local area.
The grant enabled Custom to deliver support and skills training, improving employability and aspirations for young people with learning difficulties (through their work with Beacon Plus) and Refugees/Asylum Seekers (from Napier Barracks) and encouraged and enabled local families to sustainably feed themselves.
It also allowed them to strengthen their ongoing intergenerational work, by centring work with family groups and intergenerational learning, uphold the share traditional/intuitive knowledge systems alongside innovative tech-based systems, whilst strengthening community resilience and bonds by platforming 'elders' from local and diasporic communities in their knowledge share sessions.
Funding allowed them to support the local economy by enriching the cultural life of Folkestone's poorest areas through community gatherings and by addressing issues around connection to nature, climate resilience and access to food, educate people about environmental issues and kick off their programme of building a district-wide 'Patchwork Farm' which has much more long-term and far-reaching community benefits.
They have also begun a programme of community building which has established a network of solidarity for women of colour and non-binary people of colour, connecting around nature, food and landscapes through walking/reading groups. Meanwhile the Community Knowledge Share sessions have modelled leadership from the diasporic community with Folkestone and a wider network of community growers.
‘Intergenerational exchange is central to our ethos, which upholds the sharing of traditional/intuitive knowledge systems alongside innovative tech-based systems. The grant will help us support the local economy, educate people about environmental issues and will be a major step in eradicating food insecurity in Folkestone as part of our 10 year plan.’ Cherry Truluck-Halpin, Director