Hello and welcome to Sims Hill Shared Harvest, a new Community Supported Agriculture initiative which plans to help reestablish Bristol’s historic local and seasonal food supply chains. We still face many unknowns as we bring our vision to fruition, but with your help we feel confident that we can build a successful project.
There’s still lots to do before the growing begins but here’s what’s been achieved so far.
Our mission statement:
Sims Hill Shared Harvest will provide its local members with quality fruit and vegetables, grown using natural farming methods.
Sims Hill welcomes the involvement of the wider community, offering a unique opportunity to learn, work and play together.
Sims Hill exists to create a partnership between people and the land that is mutually enriching.
Our vision is of a community-owned and financed CSA which will help to reclaim Bristol’s historic (and fertile) agricultural land. Bristol City Council is supporting the project with a generous offer of land and we are now exploring funding options for Sims Hill. We are also pursuing a Local Food Lottery funding bid with the Avon Wildlife Trust (who are running a sister project close by).
What is a CSA? A CSA is a popular farming model where the members come together and invest in the running of the farm and receive a share of the Harvest, as opposed to being customers who pay for specific products. The budget for the farm and what members contribute is negotiated, seeking to establish a fair and transparent deal for all concerned. This may include subsidized membership for members on low incomes.
There are many CSAs now running in the USA and the UK which are based on the model of the grower owning and managing the land and business. We are hoping to be one of the first CSAs where the project will be owned and run by its members on an equal basis with the growers. We are exploring the potential legal and organisational methods to allow this to happen.
The site has been worked as pasture for the last 30 years, but before that was just one of the many thriving market gardens that supplied food for the city. Sims Hill Shared Harvest is determined to help bring this land back into active food production.
We will be inviting people to join (or formally express an interest) soon.
Who we are:
James Adamson has many years experience of working on the land and in Steiner education. He is a Director of Eastside Roots and is studying for a permaculture diploma. James wants to see a strong local food culture and communities connected to each other via the land.
Tim Lawrence is a community development worker, apprentice grower at Stroud Community Agriculture, and community gardener with ASAP (Asylum Seekers Allotment Project). Tim wants to see more land available for community based food growing in Bristol.
Chris Howell has spent his working life between agriculture and architecture, always with our environment in mind. His passion for sustainable living, community and local organic food brought him to this project.
Bobbie Sunderland is motivated by bringing people and good food together locally in a sustainable way. She is an experienced accountant, manager, administrator and keen allotment holder.
Kristin Sponsler is an active member of Transition Bristol and the national Transition Towns Network. Kristin was raised on a farm and has a passionate interest in sustainable food systems and permaculture. She has over 20 years experience in delivering web and desktop publishing projects.
Chris Sunderland runs a charity known as Project Agora concerned with active citizenship and has recently founded EarthAbbey, a community dedicated to living more in tune with the earth. Believing deeply in the way that working land can build community, he is involved in a number of food-related projects, including a national growing campaign called Grow Zones.