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Grow Your Own CSA Online Training Course – October 2023 to February 2024

Fifteen Two hour online training sessions with guest speakers spaced over 15 weeks

Tuesdays 5.30 to 7.30 from 10th October 2023

Community Supported Agriculture is a profitable, sociable, and sustainable way to link land and community. We would like to see CSA projects thrive across the UK.

The course runs from October to February, so growers have finished the main season & can run through this training in time to set up a CSA the following season! You may also want to do the course to help you decide if CSA is for you.

Each online session topic will last 2 hours. Sessions will run on the first three Tuesdays of each month, between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm, with a total of 15 sessions.

The sessions allow us to explore a subject more in-depth or invite guest speakers with particular expertise. They are also an opportunity for students to share ideas & raise questions.

Before each session, we will send you a list of study resources. These will be a mixture of web pages, short films & documents. In each session, we will also give you an assignment to complete. These assignments will form the basis of discussion when we meet.

Whilst the online session will be 2 hrs, we suggest that you will need to give anywhere between 2 to 4 hours additional study time & upwards per week, to work on your CSA plans as we guide you through the session topics. The more time you put in, the more you will get out.

This course will ideally be supplemented by you receiving mentoring from various organisations. We will try to help you find this extra support.

The course tutor (Tom) will also be available half a day every week to answer emails & chat on the phone.

Working from our own experiences, we will give you an overview of the main issues you will need to consider in order to set up & run your CSA successfully.

Dates & Topics 

October 10th 1 – What is CSA (Business planning part 1)

October 17th 2 – Have you got the skills base? (Business planning part 2)

October 24th 3 – Finding & assessing land quality

November 7th 4 – CSA structures (Business planning part 3) 

November 14th 5 – Crop Planning & growing for the hungry gap  

November 21st 6 – Site planning 

December 5th 7 – Business planning part 4 

December 12th 8 – The UK CSA Network – how they can support you 

December 19th 9 – Financing the setup & managing your finances through the season & making successful funding applications

January 9th 10 – Planning issues for barns, polytunnels, parking & toilets! 

January 16th 11 – Tools & equipment for varying scales 

January 23rd 12 – Good working relationships 

February 6th 13 – Human resources 11.1 Engaging volunteers 11.2 Engaging & retaining members/membership management 11.3 Hosting trainees & supporting them to move on – passing on your knowledge 

February 13th 14 – Engaging schools & the community, food equality for all  – risk assessments & Insurance

February 20th 15 – Final evaluation 

Contributions from many expert guest speakers including;

Rhian Williams of Kirkstall Valley Farm 

Ruth Evans & Jessie Kidd of Cae Tan CSA 

Hetty Ninnis of Newquay Orchard 

Andy Dibben of Abbey Home Farm

Lucie Taylor of the Community Land Advisory Service

Jade Bashford of the Real Farming Trust 

Tony Little of The Landworkers Alliance

Suzy Russell of the UK CSA Network

Book your places here.

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