Francesca’s Salads

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Francesca was a trainee with us in 2017. Whilst with us she decided that she’d like to pursue growing salads and greens for local businesses and markets.

This fitted well with Cae Tan’s aims to help establish new growers and build local produce availability. Francesca is an employee of Cae Tan, but is working within here own budget that is separate from that of our membership income.

Cae Tan as an organisation are supporting her by accessing grants for materials & her time, offering support & advice & offering free access to the land & a polytunnel at Furzehill whilst she gets established.

Thanks to the Naturesave Trust for funding materials.

Francesca has done an amazing job of setting up her growing area, doing some of her own fundraising & building contacts with local businesses. She managed this whilst holding down a near full time job at a cafe in Gowerton & cycling back & forth between Waunarlwydd & Lunnon to weed, sow, plant & water at all hours!

She’s also been learning to drive between planting, so that she can streamline delivery of her produce.

A month of Francesca’s time has been paid for with funds from last years harvest party. We are also awaiting a grant from NRW which if successful will give her a part time wage for the coming months to support the establishment of her enterprise.

The funds from NRW……if we get them…..Will also support another new producer to set up a sustainable farming scheme in 2019. This may be as part of Cae Tan or in some kind of partnership with us.

We’re really pleased that Francesca has joined Cae Tan as a board member & will be one of Gower’s future growers helping to shape our development as we move forwards.

Note to members….you may be wondering…… wheres our salads!! They have been a bit sporadic the last month but they’re on the way…..Whilst Francesca is concentrating on this one crop, we are establishing about 30 different crops on 6 acres. So volunteer planters are still very much in demand!!

New Polytunnel at Furzehill

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The pictures are in reverse order…..

A massive thankyou to Neil Barry at Swansea Community Green Spaces Project. Also to Dai who donated a tunnel frame to us from the site next door to the Wildflower Cafe.

A series of fortunate co-incidences led to us getting a tunnel in place at Furzehill for Francesca to set up this autumn with her salads & greens.

A couple of months ago one of our volunteers said a friend of hers (Dai) was in the process of selling land at the wildflower cafe near Swansea airport and would possibly let us have a polytunnel frame that needed moving. She rang Dai who happened to be passing & called in 10 minutes later. The tunnel frame was ours when we had time to take it down!

A few weeks later we had an email from Neil Barry of Swansea Community Green Spaces Project. They had £2000 that was set aside for a project to install a polytunnel on another project which had not gone ahead. The funds were from Big Lottery & their preference was to use the money to support a local project rather than return it.

The catch was that we had about 10 days to do this!

So between myself, Abbi, Francesca, Oli & Bob, we managed to get the old frame down & re-erect it in record time…..

We need now to complete the carpentry & the tunnel can be re-covered some time this summer.

Although the tunnel was free it costs us £1500 to get a number of bits of frame that were missing, plus all the carpentry, postcrete etc plus £500 to employ labour to help us. But new this tunnel would cost approx £5000 and thats without the cost of putting it up!

Thankyou to everyone who helped to take it down & put it up. Big thanks to Big Lottery, Dai & Neil!!




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A few pictures of GRAFT in development. (The project we are involved with in the heart of Swansea)…..The beds are full up, the pergola is up, planting has started with schools & adult volunteers. Drop in & have a look if you’re near the Maritime Museum.