Here’s a fabulous story about a family that raced against time to save the farm that had been theirs for a few generations. After two years, they only raised £77,000 by sellling shares to members of the public, alongside a £100,000 mortgage. They needed to raise a further £600,000 in three months to prevent their farm being taken over by the landlord. With media coverage, and interest from far afield, they did it.
One year on, it looks as if the Hollinses, without knowing it, caught the mood of the times. People were fed up with greedy supermarkets and were resolving to shop local; they also wanted to do their bit for the good of the planet.
[...] Fordhall Farm meat is sold in the farm shop and at farmers’ markets. Shareholders turn up at almost every one and say they have come to buy lamb or pork from “their” farm. Online sales are also developing. [That said...] The farm needs to boost turnover and start making money – it just about broke even last year.
Here’s the farm’s website, where it’s possible to buy the book of the story. I’ve long thought that farming should build closer links with ‘communities’, for example through CSA (community supported agriculture) schemes, so it’s great to learn of this reaching a growing, more-than-local audience.
Update (8th August ’07)
What is it about this blog post? Since I published it, it’s attracted the third most number of viewings… All readers are welcome to help me answer this one!