Camel CSA hosts Soil Association mentoring event

September 11, 2009

Camel Community Supported Agriculture has been chosen to host a new type of training event being organised by the Soil Association. 

A total of 23 grow-your-own-food enthusiasts in the south-west, from Land’s End to Totnes, are taking part.  It’s proved so popular that more than 10 would-be participants have had to be turned away.

The horticultural mentoring event for existing and prospective CSA groups and growers in the south west is on Monday 14 September at our site at St Kew Highway behind St Kew Harvest Farm Shop.

It will give us an opportunity to consider soil fertility, crop planning and other important aspects of community supported agriculture.  It’ll also help us build all-important networks with other growing groups.


The event’s being organised by Ben Raskin, the Soil Association’s learning manager and horticultural advisor, with the financial backing of the Making Local Food Work project.  Ben says:

“The idea is to put growing groups with similar aims into mentoring groups where they can get help and advice.

“There’s been a massive response to these mentoring events from Cornwall and Gloucestershire in particular, which is fantastic. We’ve had to turn people away from next week’s session at St Kew Highway and there is a waiting list of 10.

Cornwall is already playing a leading role in the Making Local Food Work programme led by the Plunkett Foundation.  As Jan Trefusis of the foundation says in a recent magazine article:

“Cornwall really is the star of this programme, with a high proportion of our uptake for the project coming from across the region.”

Tim Deane from Northwood Farm near Exeter in Devon, who founded the UK’s first organised vegetable box scheme, will share 30 years’ experience of crop planning, labour and machinery needs at the event.  


Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s own team of expert growers – Jeremy Brown, Jane Mellowship and Mark Norman – will describe the ups and down of the initial six months of our own local food project.

The initiative to grow our own food and to share the risks and rewards would never have got off the ground without their combined skills and dedication.  They’ve willingly devoted many hours of unpaid work to what’s often been an uphill task.

Jeremy, Jane and Mark have been brilliant; there’s no other way of putting it.  Camel CSA members owe them a big debt.  We cannot thank them enough.

  • See and hear what our expert growers have to say on Camel CSA’s latest video – Our first harvest
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