Category Archives: Farm News


Bio-Cycle is a student-led food waste recycling scheme (see their Facebook page).

In the absence of a council scheme to collect veg peelings and other waste food for compost, students from the University of Southampton devised their own scheme.

In preventing unnecessary food waste from going to landfill, by re-using it locally, they hope to encourage sustainability within Southampton and the strong student community, changing the way people view recycling.

The scheme provides student households with food waste caddies and bin liners for a small fee of £10.

This also registers them with a regular weekly food waste pickup service.

There are 35 student households in the scheme.

Each week volunteers go round on bicycles to collect the liners full of compostable materials.

All collected food waste comes to Aldermoor Community Farm – and it comes by bicycle.


We put the liners into our custom-built compost bay, layering the fresh material with wood-chip. It is a great recipe for compost.

Bio-Cycle is one of many projects organised by Southampton Hub, a nation-wide charity whose aim which supports students to tackle social challenges. Find out more here:



We are really pleased to support Bike 2 Basics at Aldermoor Community Farm. In 2017 they visited us on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month.

Due to reduced numbers of volunteers, Bike 2 Basics are not visiting us regularly at the moment. But they do go to the Repair Cafe, which is on the first Saturday of each month.

They run a Community Bike Doctor session where they undertake minor repairs to bicycles. They encourage people to watch the repair so they can learn how it is done, and are happy for people to undertake their own repairs under supervision.

They can do safety checks, minor repairs and service work. They can also advise of more in-depth repairs that may need to be undertaken by your local bicycle repair shop.

Bike 2 Basics is a Southampton-based community bike project. Their aim is to offer services that enable more people to cycle safely around the city and surrounding areas. Their services are run by volunteers, and they aim to create an inclusive and fun environment for people to work in.

Find out more at


This is our logo. Made for us by a friend.

What do you see in it? This is some of what we see:

  • Young and old working together
  • Producing food
  • Nurturing the land
  • The central importance of soil
  • We have roots

Apple Pressing 2016

Sunday 25 September     [10am to 4pm]
Sunday 16 October     [10am to 4pm]

chopping ashurst press brens press

We are excited to announce TWO apple pressing days for this year.

We had a great time last year. So much so, that we have booked the press from Ashurst and Colbury Community Group for TWO sessions this year.

Come along from 10am with your apples to press. Or just come along and join in! We pause at about 12ish for a bring and share lunch.

First we cut the apples in quarters. Then they go into the scratter. Then into the press. Then we have amazing fresh apple juice to enjoy. Everyone brings bottles to take some home in – last year everyone went home with at least a 4-pint milk carton of apple juice – most with more!!

The juice needs to be enjoyed in a few days – it starts to ferment quite quickly. Or you can freeze it for a few months. Or you can bottle it and heat it to 75 degrees C for 25 mins  – then it will last in the bottle for about a year.

There are many apple trees around the city that don’t get used – if you don’t have your own tree, perhaps you could go and pick some apples and bring them along! For hints about this, see the website of Southampton’s Urbane Forager.

Hope to see you there!

NOTE – this is a free event for everyone in the community, but if on the day you can make a contribution to our costs, we would appreciate it. We donate £20 to Ashurst and Colbury Community Group for the loan of the equipment.

August Open Day

intensive bedsOn Bank Holiday Monday, 29th August we have an open day.

Gates open at 10am and we keep going until about 4pm.

At the open day you can enjoy the following:
  • map and self-guided tour
  • feed the chickens
  • treasure hunt
  • drain pipe car races
  • the pond will be in use for our new fishing game/competition
  • at lunch time a summer squash curry will be served, with the majority of ingredients grown on the farm
  • our shop will be open with a range of chemical-free fresh produce for sale – sweet corn and golden beetroot should be ready by then, as well as our delicious french beans and runner beans. We also have new season jams and chutneys and local honey for sale.
  • throughout the day our pay as you feel refreshments will be available with home made cakes

Summer Saturday Sessions

Announcing Saturday sessions for volunteers in May, June and July!

These are the dates booked in so far:

  • Sat 21 May 
  • Sat 4 June 
  • Sat 2 July
  • Sat 16 July

Our Saturdays start at 0930 and run until 1230. We have a cuppa mid morning and then if you want to stay for our “bring and share” lunch at 1230 that is encouraged! We send everyone home and lock up after lunch.

In May and June we will be potting up germinated seeds, such as basil. Then we will be planting out and potting on various things. There will be seeds to plant in our various beds.

No doubt we will be digging more swales and shaping new ponds at some stage.

And there is always some weeding to do, if you like taming the land!


May Open Day

We hope to see you at our bank holiday open day on Monday May 30th. Gates are open from 10am to 4pm. We will serve a “pay as you feel” tasty mild vegetarian curry from 1230.Apple tree in blossom

This is what you can do:

  • follow the farm trail and quiz
  • [perhaps] see our new goslings
  • feed the chickens
  • plant some seeds

We will have a few things for sale:

  • chicken and duck eggs
  • marmalade and local honey
  • vegetable plants
  • flower plants
  • seeds for flowers and bee plants.

Co-operation and Community Gardens

co-operation and community gardensOn Sunday 8th May an event called “Co-operation and Community Gardens” is being held at Aldermoor Community Farm. It is an all day event for those interested in community gardening in Southampton (and area). Whether you are a volunteer, community leader, or just want to know what it’s all about, this free event is a good place to start.

10.00 Arrive, chat, hot drink, housekeeping
11.00 Practical Task
13.00 Lunch, please bring food to share
14.00 Short talk on co-operatives, as they apply to Aldermoor Farm, presented by Richard Pitt.
15.00 Mindfulness session led by Helen Cooper and Andy Mabey.
16.00 Close.

More activities may be added and you are welcome to join in all or part of the program.

Here is some more info from Helen Plowman who is the driving force behind this:

Our intention is to give community growers more chances to learn from one another and support each other. We also hope to encourage new volunteers or those wishing to start a new project. By working alongside each other in a practical way connections and conversations happen, it’s a great way to make new friends and it’s also a thank you to the farm for hosting us.

Lunch will be an informal affair with lots of chances to walk around the site, network and generally relax.

Then a simple presentation on the theme of co-operatives and the farm, how it works, what the co-operative structure has added etc. Depending on numbers and the wishes of the group we will have small group discussion time afterwards.

Then to wind down there will be a mindfulness activity, possibly run in parallel with a land art exercise (again dependent on numbers).

Please let me know if you’re planning to come, either via email or by joining the Facebook event page. It would be helpful to know numbers, and also what food people will bring for lunch. This is a free event, but the farm sells produce so do bring some money along.

I really hope to see you there.
Helen Plowman

After-school Farmers – volunteers needed

In the summer of 2016 we will be opening up an opportunity for after-school farmers.hands close up planting

We have some friends locally who want to come and help on the farm. They are under 18 so we can’t proceed until we have the right number of adults to supervise them.

Our supervisor has passed through the DBS (police check) stage and now we need one or two adult volunteers to make up the numbers.

The volunteer needs to be:

  • available from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on the same day each week (to be decided)
  • reliable – with us every week in term time

We have a role description here: Role Description – Vol Farm Club Helper
and the application form here: Application – Farm Club Helper

Please spread the word and think about who could help us get this off the ground.

Pork for sale

We have a range of pork for sale from our freezer.

Our sausages and bacon have all be bought, but we have some very good joints, and chops still available, together with a few specialist items. Take a look at our stock list and see if anything takes your fancy…

Remember, our shop is open on Wednesdays and Fridays.

We kept pigs up until the end of 2015 to clear the land. They had a great time.


First we had 3 British Saddlebacks (the black and white ones) then we had 3 Oxford Sandy and Blacks (OSBs) and finally another 3 British Saddlebacks.