Bosavern Farm spans about 36 acres and was the last County owned farm in Penwith. Cornwall Council Farm Service are consolidating their farm holdings and have a plan to reduce the number of farms by roughly 10% but still keep ownership of about 11,000 acres. Bosavern Farm was on their list for disposal.
This farm is small in commercial terms but being on the very edge of St Just is a great opportunity to develop a local asset for the benefit for our community.
We have been proposing that the farm be used as a site for a Community Supported Agriculture project (What is a CSA?), including chickens and pigs. We also supported the plan that one of the fields be leased separately by the Town Council for public allotments. The interest of the Town Council has now been passed to BCEnts, and the intention is to allow individuals to have an allotment to grow their own food and/or to be a member of the CSA and so share in its produce. Both the Allotments & Growers Association and the CSA group have said that an important role for them is educating the wider public about food growing and increasing the availability of locally produced food i.e. One of the local schools has already got involved, and another has expressed an interest, as the location is within in safe walking distance and they would be keen for the children to learn about growing vegetables and some animal husbandry.
The land has already proven to produce high quality organic vegetables and beef by the last County tenants who ran an extremely popular farm shop on a Saturday and were reported to have been able to sell their produce many times over, so we believe the demand is there to make this a sustainable proposition.
Bosavern Community Enterprises (BCEnts) is now leading this project, having had the support of Lands End Peninsula Community Land Trust (LEPCLT) in the pilot stages. The LEPCLT took on the lease from April 2010 and was awarded grants towards the project costs from the West Cornwall Local Action Group and Cornwall AONB Sustainable Development Fund. BCEnts has now secured a Lottery grant, share capital, and a mortgage to purchase the farm (as a not for profit enterprise).