GOODWOOD GREEN CAMP
"BRINGING COMMUNITY PARTICIPATORY AGRICULTURE TO THE GLOBAL NORTH"
On the 17th of August a core team working with The Foundation For Common Good: Roger Roberts - Department of Trade and Investments, David Edwards - Prince Charles' sustainability unit, Neal Gandhi - Entrepreneur and Business Leader, Matt Thirnton - Emoto Water & RAF, Mark Galvin and Charles Fraser Foundation For Common Good Directors went for a meeting with the CEO of Goodwood, Alex WIlliamson and Goodwood Director Alun Rees. The meeting was regarding eco-community and eco-business park development at Goodwood.
At the meeting we proposed setting up a Green Business Park at a farm that Alun had previously shown Charles. Green Business Campus would subsidise a Green Camp and "Dome-Tree" Community Center that would run the eco-village design curriculum, host conferences and similar events to those at Arundel Green Camp in order to design and build Green School & Green Village. So in effect we would have, Green Business Park "paving" the way for Green Camp which would develop the Green School and Green Village potential further.
Goodwood's response was that our pitch was not focused enough. They explained that if we had asked for 6000sq ft for a business incubator they might consider it but that the £120k income from such a venture would not be very interesting or significant to them considering the disruption it would cause. They also explained that co-operatives frighten them, as a gentry and heritage lead institution already doing very well with organic animal and alcohol production they didn't see a need for a departure from these modes of production.
We thank Goodwood for the opportunity to allow us to come together on their beautiful estate and develop these opportunities together further. Alex explained he would bring his kids along to Arundel Green Camp events and I am sure they will get a better idea of how benign and beautiful Green Camp is when they see it thriving for themselves, also what a valuable asset it is on many levels.
We will keep the conversation moving to lands where there is full support for the community participatory agriculture model and co-operative custodianship of the land. David Edward's of Prince Charles' Sustainability Unit is helping us look to a program set up to connect young farmers with farm-land whereupon the Hemp Production contracts we developed for the Cowdray Estate might work to subsidise Green Camp that belongs to a community run co-operative with principles of harmlessness. Thereupon we will be able to run the natural building course and start a little Green Village to bring more permanent residents to the camp: sorely needed to make agro-forestry feasable, as at present, Arundel Green Camp can only have people there if Charles is there, so it works more as a prototype to develop the model.
So the conversation is moving on to investigate programs that can help us find land and to explore opportunities to buy our own land on or near sympathetic organisations. However in the immediate future we will focus our energy on supporting the success of The Community Participatory Agriculture model working in Morocco with our friends at The High Atlas Foundation (HAF) and their for profit Subsidiary, High Atlas Agriculture and Artisanal, HA3. The 15 years HAF have been in Morocco has trained up over 300 arboricultural community participatory forums and many organic tree nurseries that have planted over one million fruit and nut trees. Now they have hundreds of tonnes of organic Almonds and Walnuts that we are helping them bring to market though HA3. Once the legal library and structure is at the level necessary to plug into the EU systems we can move the 100s of tonnes of additional organic Almonds and Walnuts each year to the rapidly growing EU and Global markets.
This work has quadrupled the income for 300 of the poorest communities in Morocco and provided many with running water and their own community forums to put these profits into what the community decide together the profits should go towards. We feel we can help the planet and ourselves therefore by getting this sustainable development model working at scale. Hereafter we will be able to purchase our own lands for Green Camp.