The Trust owns most of the land and buildings on which Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Farms operate and rents these to the two farm businesses. This enables the two farms to farm biodynamically. This underpins our charitable aims of furthering education and training in biodynamics for new farmers and growers, schoolchildren and the general public.
Our education and training activities include:
- Visits by school children and college students to the farms (regular attendees include the local schools)
- Apprenticeship and staff development programmes in all aspects of farm and garden work – Four apprentices are registered for a 2-year structured programme leading to a level 3 qualification.
- Training for staff in social care for the residents with learning disabilities (Tablehurst Farm)
- Farm and garden walks led by volunteers and/or farm staff
Securing more land for biodynamic farming and growing
We would like there to be more land available for biodynamic cultivation within our community and are always open to working with others to serve this aim.
The other area of our work is to provide accommodation for the elderly and we are currently working with other groups on a project to convert Pixton House at Emerson College into a co-housing scheme. We are also working with Tablehurst Farm to provide a retirement home for Peter Brown, the farmer who established Tablehurst as a community-owned biodynamic farm back in the 1990s.
An eye to the future
The Trust also has a commitment to wider educational and cultural objectives, which remain central to St Anthony’s aims. Indeed, the Trust would seek, in a very practical way in our community, to implement the ideal of the biodynamic farm as ‘a university of the future’, as envisaged by Dr Manfred Klett. To this end, St Anthony’s Trust has consistently supported local initiatives of a wider cultural nature.