With ten days to go until our share offer deadline we’ve raised 90% of our £30,000 target. We’re on the final straight and are sprinting towards the finish line!
Thanks so much if you’ve invested already! If you haven’t invested, time is running out to become a member of an organisation which is paving the way for community ownership of nature education and enlightened agriculture projects all over the country. Join us and become a pioneer! Get involved in the project as much or as little as you like but please invest and help us make real, measurable, positive changes in our society. Invest now!
Along with five other projects supported by the Just Growth funding programme, we’re working with the FEA Network (Funding Enlightened Agriculture) and Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience to develop a set of monitoring and evaluation tools which will enable us to assess the impact of our projects in order for our management team (and of course our members and investors) to clearly see the areas where we’re doing well and those we need to focus more attention on.
Last week we attended the final of three workshops which have taken place this year, the purpose of which has been to work together to develop these tools. It has been a fascinating process, not least because it has given us the opportunity to meet members of the other projects which Just Growth is supporting (The Ecological Land Co-op, Scotland The Bread, Plotgate CSA, Hempen Organics and Manchester Veg People). More importantly perhaps, it has underlined the importance of taking a clearly structured approach to monitoring and evaluation of our various projects in the coming years.
Working closely not only with other land-based community project team members but also with academics who are as passionate about ecology, food sovereignty and community resilience as we are, has created a healthy and vibrant culture of engagement and cross fertilisation of experience, ideas and perspectives from top to bottom throughout the funding programme. It has been a challenging year of growth for Sacred Earth but it has been immensely encouraging that all our hard work has not only been about growing our own project but also about contributing towards a larger network, a much bigger picture and what is essentially an incredibly exciting movement, which is gathering momentum, towards much more regenerative approaches to agriculture and community organising.
The toolkit will be tested next year by Sacred Earth and the other projects Just Growth is supporting. Once final modifications have been made it will be available for any community food growing project to use to assess their own impact on the local ecology and the local human community. Because of the way it has been developed in direct consultation with the growers who will be using it, the toolkit has the potential to be very effective and very easy to use – music to the ears of farmers and food growers who want to spend as much time as possible on the land and as little time as possible in the office!