In November 2019, husband and wife, Chris and Emily Huskins, from Arlington, set out on a venture to build an ecological organic CSA in East Sussex, called Fanfield Farm. They gave it their everything – moving their entire lives from Southampton to the Ecological Land Cooperative scheme site in Polegate, living in a static caravan they gutted and rebuilt themselves, and starting with nothing but a field.
Since then, Chris and Emily have made incredible success starting the farm; turning a field into five large growing blocks, planting over 1000 trees and have already sown over 2500 seeds. All the while running their digital marketing business in the background, of which they use the money to fund the farm. However, due to the Coronavirus epidemic, and the nature of being self employed, the couple are now struggling to make ends meet, let alone continue progress on the farm, with clients unable to pay them and not providing any work.
The farm owners believe that, now more than ever, they need to grow food as quickly as possible to be able to feed local families. So they are asking for the help of the local East Sussex community.
Chris said: “The last month has really highlighted the fragility of our food systems in the UK, and with so many households now looking to get local, good quality produce delivered to their door as they self isolate, we are looking to help with that.
“The beginning of this project has been far from easy though; moving on in Winter saw the wettest few months on record in over 20 years, followed by four named storms with 75mph winds that destroyed a lot of the infrastructure we had built. And now we find ourselves in the centre of a global pandemic. All that aside, we are still determined, but we know when to ask for help and our crowdfunding campaign is asking for support to determine a more secure food system, continue the sense of community we have seen from many during this pandemic, whilst also improving our environment.”
The Crowdfunder details how the couple would use the money to continue building the community farm, which will put food on the tables of the local community in the form of hand delivered vegetable boxes. It also talks about building the farm as a central hub for locals who want to visit, get into nature, have a break from working life and learn about growing food sustainably, including opening the farm for open days, volunteer days, school trips and community group visits. The ambitious couple will also use the money raised to build a dedicated community garden, where all food grown will be directly donated to local food banks.
Emily said: “This project isn’t about us, or even just about the farm. It’s about bringing a central community hub back to the local area and putting food on tables. We have the determination and land to build a space that will benefit a lot of people, we just need some help to get there. Any support we get from the local community will mean the absolute world to us, and in turn, we will pay it back with a truly community driven farm.
To find out more about Fanfield Farm, and to donate to support the future of East Sussex, visit:https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/building-an-organic-community-farm-in-east-sussex. Donations result in a series of rewards for the donor, including free vegetable boxes, farming courses, tours and more.
You can also view a short film about the farm and the Crowdfunder, here: https://youtu.be/1OQ899AMhrA.
Fanfield Farm is an ecological organic community farm in Arlington, East Sussex. To find out more, visit: https://fanfield.farm/.