Sarah Rideout, Feb 2018
I went along to Rodmell Food Forest in the snow. It was great to see what's going on at this wonderful project just down the road, and up the Downs...
I met the team, volunteer coordinator Luke Manders, plus volunteers, Sandra and John.
Rodmell Food Forest is at the top of Mill Lane, Rodmell, on privately-owned land. The space has been partly permaculture designed, and Luke is starting permaculture training soon to develop this path further.
Although they have financial support at the moment, all involved were interested in discussing the different ways the project could go.
Luke cooked a lovely veggie lunch and we talked about:
aims, outcomes, outputs - who's it for, what's the main purpose, what could be produced.
assets, limitations - great existing financed site with shelter, loo. Little public transport, non-accessible currently.
practicalities - risk assessment, public liability insurance, DBS etc.
connections - Brighton Permaculture Trust most logical, WWOOFers (Working on Organic Farms), local people (perhaps hold an event with food)
Other topics we discussed - the site aspect, crop rotation advice, growing methods, pond benefits
We walked around the whole site, it was very interesting to see how they are growing using Hugel beds (earth is piled on top of dead branches, organic matter, manure and soil on top). have been meaning to try this method for some time at Lewes Community Allotment!
It was a pleasure to visit, and I'm pleased to say they said that they found the visit very helpful: "Full of care, support and appreciation - lucky us!"