On a year-to-year basis, Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch farms have to be financially self-sustaining, including making provision to replace machinery and maintain their land, yards and buildings. Any capital investment by St Anthony’s Trust, such as a new building, can only be financed from additional monies that the Trust or the farms are able to raise, or through legacies from community members. This presents a considerable challenge for the farms and their management groups, because the yields per hectare are lower than in conventional agriculture, particularly in terms of cereal crops, while the labour required is greater. This is offset to some extent by the price premium that biodynamic food commands, although both farms seek to keep their prices to a minimum viable level, in recognition of their community ownership.
St Anthony’s Trust would be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to support the work of the farms, for example by offering low interest rate loans for new capital equipment or buildings. Please get in touch with Oliver Fynes-Clinton (T. 01342 823966; M. 07904 095175; E. firstname.lastname@example.org