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Rosewood Acres is a small, mixed farm focusing on regenerative agriculture bordering The Blean Woods between Canterbury, Faversham and whitstable in Kent. We produce high-quality fresh vegetables, eggs and flowers according to regenerative and organic principles. Spread over 17 acres of beautiful pasture we have a substantial flock of laying hens, a no-dig market garden, a no-dig flower garden run by ‘The Flower Farm Denstroude’, and also a small mixed flock of sheep and alpacas all without nasty chemicals.
Rosewood Acres is now in transition to a Community Interest Company (CIC) which seeks to not only produce the best food possible whilst repairing the land, but also to benefit the community through food, farming and friendships.
THE ROSEWOOD STORY
The farm began in 2017, when Sam and Lil moved to this magical spot with their baby in arms (Elwood) and a desire for a closer connection to the land. Motivated by the desire to provide the best possible food and environment for their children. Slowly but steadily the farm grew, the small veg patch turned into a larger one, 20 chickens soon turned into 200 and three people turned into four, on the arrival of their second child (Evelyn Rose). Then the name farms Rosewood Acres was born.
On his journey into land management Sam was inspired by Bill Mollison’s work on permaculture, Allan Savoury’s ideas on holistic management and planned grazing, the insights of Charles Dowding on no-dig gardening and the inspirational thoughts on natural farming by Masanobu Fukuoka. The insight gleaned from putting into practice all these techniques was that soil health was of the utmost importance. Healthy soil grows healthy food, which in turn makes healthy people. Looking for ways to build healthy soil as a full-time farmer, Sam went on a mission, scouring YouTube, podcasts and good old books. This finally led him to Ridgedale Permaculture in Sweden, where he learnt from a pioneering farmer Richard Perkins and his regenerative agriculture/permaculture design course.
In a hectic year, the 500m2 no-dig market garden was laid out, a new mobile chicken coop to house the bigger flock of laying hens was built and the dream was becoming even more of a reality. The first season of the new partnership held many challenges: terrible Spring weather, in the middle of the Covid pandemic on top of the usual small business start-up headaches. However, we made it through, lessons were learned, new friendships built and above all - we had fun and grew lots of our own food and fed much of our local community with tasty veg and amazing eggs!
This year we are becoming a Community Interest Company (CIC) because we value the positive engagement of our local community with the farm, from regular customers collecting veg boxes to the local Food Bank to whom we supply surplus eggs. We now think we could do much more for those around us than just producing food! With the lingering effects of the pandemic on our minds, we wanted to educate, inspire and reconnect people to the land through a conversation around food and farming.
We aim to reconnect people to growing food, for example through volunteer days and farm tours, which can have wonderful benefits for mental health and wellbeing. For 2022 we will offer the same great produce but we are placing our community, from local people to aspiring growers, at the forefront of what we do - expect workshops on exciting aspects of food growing and creative opportunities to get involved in the farm.
Going forward, Rosewood Acres looks to be a beacon of hope in this crazy world of overpriced and under nourished food system, a place for our community to connect in this ever increasingly disconnected world and to teach the skills needed to feed your self and the those around you.
Sam is passionate about whole systems farm design. He manages the farm as a whole and can be found tending the animals or tinkering in the workshop on the next project.