We want to increase the number of skilled, confident, entrepreneurial food producers capable of succeeding in making sustainable livelihoods on small and mid-size farms.

We are working with others, through Bristol Food Producers to provide and promote well designed and supported training opportunities for growers, with multiple entry points. We hope to enable more people to take on land and run viable businesses. In this way people can make sustainable livelihoods from the land, strengthen rural communities and economies, support local food systems and improve the resilience of Britain’s small farming sector.

Developing Opportunities

There are three new learning opportunities that are already, or soon to become, available in Bristol:

  • Scaling up Community Food Production – a Grow Leaders course run by Feed Bristol to help those involved in community growing projects to make their initiatives more productive. This course covers skills on food growing, nature conservation and people care – including working with volunteers.
  • Livelihood Skills to Land Workers – a certified programme being developed by Bristol Food Producers to equip new growers with additional skills need to run their own enterprise – including writing a business plan, managing staff and volunteers, market research and promotion, first aid, H&S and food hygiene. It will allow learners to get a taste of how different community businesses work whilst developing thier own business plan. This is due to launch in 2017.
  • Fresh Start Horticultural Academy – run by the Fresh Start Land Enterprise Centre this 10 session progamme is designed for those already running growing enterprises or about to start one. It helps them with core business skills and is certified by SFEDI. This course will be running from August 2016 – you can register interest or apply through Fresh Start.

More details will be posted soon – and you can keep an eye on the Bristol Food Producers website for more learning opportunities

Learning and volunteering opportunities already available in the area

If you feel you are already ready to take on your own land we recommend you complete the Bristol Food Producers Land Seekers Survey: bit.ly/lookingforland.

We recommend the Bristol Food Network’s Get Growing Map as the best place to start your search for ways to get involved in local growing projects. They also have a brilliant Food Trail each spring so you can go and visit project you might not have known about before. We also highly recommend their newsletter which comes out once every couple of months and is packed full of opportunities. You can sign up on their website.

Also have a look at these local organisations to see how you can get your fingers in the soil, or get out on the land to learn some new useful skills.

Bristol Food Producers

Incredible Edible Bristol

Feed Bristol, a project of the Avon Wildlife Trust

Sims Hill Shared Harvest – Workshare Memberships

Edible Futures

Winterbourne Medieval Barn Garden Group

HHEAG Community Food Growing

The National Trust

The Conservation Volunteers – Tree Life Centre

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