Collective Newsletter #1: Kick off message to the collective!

Welcome on board our collective of co-investors in #OurFieldWeston!  It has been very exciting to see so much enthusiasm for the project and we are delighted to announce we have gathered a collective of 38 grain enthusiasts embarking on the #OurField journey together! 

 

So what’s next?

We have attached a prospectus that summarises all you need to know about the #OurField project for now. Here’s a few bites:
 

Provisional timeline

February 19th: First farm visit to Weston Farm - meet John Cherry and co. and crop walk on #OurField! Introduce options for the first decision and hold open discussion.

End of February: 1st Decision (which grain will we grow?)

End of March: 2nd Decision (Do we use any inputs, if so which ones?) “Crisis planning” and hypothetical decisions. Fungicides, weed killer - to prepare for any emergencies!

Mid April: Sow seeds

Beginning of May: 3rd Decision (How do we weed the field?)

Mid July: Summer Farm Visit (with potential camping option)

End of August: 4th Decision (What do we do with the crop and the straw?) There is actually a lot to this decision - what do we want to harvest, how, how and where to process, where to sell it...

September/October: Harvest Festival

Between October - January: WHAT NEXT for the collective!


What can you do now?

  1. Send us a sentence introducing yourself and a photo. We will use this in our next email to introduce the whole collective!

  2. Join the Facebook Group for coinvestors 

  3. Save the date for the first farm visit- On Sunday, the 19th of February we will visit John at Weston Farm. If anyone would like to help in organising the event, or volunteer any photography or documentation of our time together, please get in touch! More details to follow soon!

 

Remind me, what is co-investment all about? 

Your £200 investment is not just a financial investment but an emotional one too. As a co-investor you will immerse yourself into the farming cycle at Weston Farm and collectively take decisions at various stages - Which grain do we grow?  Do we use fertilisers or pesticides? What happens to the yield? 

You will get a first- hand experience of the risks and intricate decision-making faced by farmers. Whether you receive a return on your investment or not comes down to the decisions made throughout the year. 

You will not only connect to our farmer John but also to a collective of 40 passionate grain enthusiasts from all different backgrounds whom you’ll get to meet at the farm visits and events we are running throughout the year. 
 


Radical collaboration

By joining #OurField, you have also joined a very unique kind of collaboration with your 38 other co-investors, and John.

The more we put into #OurField, the more we will get out. Each decision (apart from the first decision regarding what to grow - where you will be presented with three options) will be open-ended - which means you can add to the decision options and suggest alternatives! There may be options John and the team have not come across, and you may discover from researching individually, or with other #OurField members. 

We also encourage anybody to get involved in arranging or organising existing or additional events to the timetable. Perhaps you want to help out on the farm, go and visit or volunteer, or host a dinner in London to discuss one of the decision options. We are happy to support you and publicise any opportunities you may come up with!

 #OurField is an experiment and an experiment in collaboration from the very beginning. Help us make this year amazing, and make it your own!

 

Resources to enjoy

And finally, we have started putting up some resources on our website. Take a look here. Our team member Annie has also written a blog post shedding light on the complexities of cover crop termination on #OurField Weston, and giving you an insight into some early decisions that have been going on at the Cherry farm. Enjoy!

We’ll be in touch soon with details about the first farm visit but do get back to us if you have any questions or feedback in the meanwhile!

 

Grainy love,

The #OurField Team

 

Abby Rose, Carolin, Abi Aspen and Annie all speaking about #OurField at the Oxford Real Farming Conference, earlier this month.

Abby Rose, Carolin, Abi Aspen and Annie all speaking about #OurField at the Oxford Real Farming Conference, earlier this month.

 

 

 

Phoebe Tickell