Herts & Essex Community Farm is a non-for-profit community project, founded in October 2013 as there was a need in the community for more growing spaces. The community farm increases access to fresh, healthy, sustainable food whilst providing a shared space for people to cultivate skills, get exercise and make friends.
Situated on an ex-allotment site less than an acre in size, trees line the perimeter of the community farm with a brook which runs along the bottom. The land which the community farm uses is owned by Harlow Council.
We grow organically and use permaculture principles to help guide us throughout the land, our goal is to work alongside nature.
- To develop and maintain the orchard, vegetables and fruits grown using organic techniques.
- Develop wildlife habitats to support organic gardening and conservation.
- Conserve local fruit tree varieties planted in the orchard.
- Grow heritage and other fruit & vegetable varieties and save seed for future use.
- Show participants how to grow food in a sustainable way.
- Give access to fresh food to the local community.
- Provide an opportunity for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems to learn practical and personal skills.
- Provide an opportunities for local residents to engage in fruit, vegetable and flower growing.
- Encourage children to engage in gardening and conservation through school activities and family focused events.
- To be community led and non-for-profit.
We aim to be: transparent, professional, democratic, inclusive, passionate, collaborative, innovative, inspiring, fun, pragmatic, promote equality and demonstrate leadership.
We also take inspiration from the three ethics of permaculture:
- Care for people
- Care for the planet
- Return of surplus to earth and people (also called “Fair Share”)
Volunteers are key to Herts & Essex Community Farm and we strive to be an inclusive space for the community, shaped by the community. People come to Herts & Essex Community Farm to share their skills, take a break from the office, or just because they love local food. We run regular volunteer days and many other events throughout the year.
Accessibility and Inclusiveness
We aim to make Herts & Essex Community Farm accessible to as wide a range of the public as possible and are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated fairly.
This year we are continuing to design the site for maximum accessibility and inclusiveness. We cater for many volunteers and do everything we can to ensure there is varied, interesting and meaningful opportunities for people. We are thankful to all our volunteers for their work and contributions, but also their patience as we learn to operate and succeed as a community farm.
You can download our constitution here: