Our determined team of volunteers has been working hard amidst the wettest June on record, proving that being active in the outdoors is good for your mental wellbeing, even in the torrential rain! We were really interested to read an article this month that shows very similar organisations in the USA experiencing completely opposite conditions. Community farms across Indiana have been working in the driest and hottest June on record.
Some of you may not realise that Growing Well (whilst being very special) is not unique, and was modeled on the community farms movement that thrives in the USA. One farm in the article, Growing Places Indy sounds almost exactly like Growing Well, even down to how much money they earn each year from crop sales (about 10% of their/our budget).
We, like fellow community farms around the world, are really in the people business, using a host of funding to provide support for local people who need it the most. Whilst this June has brought home that climate change is a reality we must plan for (what a difference our polytunnels make), it is the changes in the economic climate that have the most chance of affecting our long-term sustainability.
This summer, in partnership with Workbase, Cumbria PCT, the Northern Rock Foundation and Cumbria County Council, we are rolling out our work with local GPs to all the surgeries in South Lakes. We hope to encourage as many people as possible to come and use the farm (or Workbase) as a means of returning to health. Through the success of this work we hope to persuade GPs to support our work financially.
John F. Kennedy said that "...the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining". Here at Growing Well, and at farms across the globe, we aim to build a roof to welcome people under, whatever the weather.