Exploring Lancaster's Hidden Gem: Claver Hill Farm

The Green Lancaster team at Claver Hill Farm

Tucked away in the North-East of Lancaster, Claver Hill Farm embodies the harmonious beauty that emerges when human activity aligns with nature, seamlessly intertwining to create a landscape of unparalleled serenity. Part of the ‘Growing Food & Community’ Food Futures theme, Claver Hill has been growing since 2013. This community farm has cultivated both agricultural produce and a profound sense of community spirit, and is of vital importance to the nearby residents, providing an effortless escape from modern-day stresses.

This deep sense of community spirit, and the importance of collaboration in contributing to the success of this farm, was most certainly made evident during our visit (in a joint collaboration with EcoEats). It was immediately apparent that this was a place well-cared for: from the vast array of vegetable beds to the decorative bunting across the cafe: with every inviting detail compelling us in. Likewise, Kathy (Claver Hill Co-chair and our tour guide for the day) was incredibly welcoming, and as she led us across the farm, we could only marvel at the variety of projects available and on display. To name but a few, the 'trash to treasure' took un-reusable items that had been donated and re-used them. For example, an eclectic mix of donated items such as broken bathtubs, kayaks and wheelbarrows were repurposed as vessels for growing herbs - certainly adding character! The rest of the farm was populated with a variety of vegetable beds, compost areas and polytunnels, and to my great excitement, there was also a tree nursery and an expansive nature trail, which we thoroughly enjoyed exploring whilst learning about the different produce. There is such a variety of initiatives including spud club, global link, a seed library, tree nursery, beekeeping, natural dyes project, a foraging path, community composting, a edible flower circle and more!

We ended the day with soup-making, using ingredients from the farm only! Our knowledge on the different produce in the farm was certainly put to the test, as we were asked to harvest certain herbs and vegetables - which we then cleaned, peeled and sliced, resulting in a tasty, nutritious soup. For me personally, this was a very new and insightful experience, and has caused me to re-think certain lifestyle choices: perhaps there is more fulfillment to be found in living more simply and in touch with nature.

This change in mindset, from just one short visit, clearly highlights the impact that Claver Hill Farm makes, and is, I believe, the perfect initiative in reducing food insecurity, whilst building valuable community spirit, helping to improve both mental and physical health. Furthermore, Claver Hill also works with Global Link, giving refugees and asylum seekers the opportunity to grow their own organic food whilst sharing skills and cultures from their homeland, which is a beautiful way in helping to be their home away from home.

Thank you for reading this article! If you'd like to learn more and get involved, Claver Hill Farm are always looking for volunteers to help with planting, weeding, harvesting, working with the tree nursery etc. Their rustic charm has captivated us and I'm sure the same will occur to you!

Likewise, we at Green Lancaster would love to see you at our upcoming events for more Green Lancaster Adventures like this one and more... You can also join our teams community channel for us to all stay connected!

Muneebah (Green Lancaster Student Leader)

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