Pathways to Farming is a new Mach Maethlon project working on increasing the number of horticultural food producers in North Powys and creating new markets for local produce. The project is funded by Rural Development Programme Arwain and Ashley Family Foundation and will run until Dec 2020.
Our Trainer Emma Maxwell is working with 12 trainees in the Machynlleth and Newtown area, teaching them the horticultural skills needed for commercial food production and mentoring them to grow on small scale ‘microfarm’ plots. The idea is that these trainees will move on to scale up in the future using the business plans they are writing as part of our training.
Our Project Coordinators Katie Hastings and Jodie Griffith are working across Machynlleth and Newtown to map the local food economy. They are working to develop new markets and new selling models that will enable more locally grown food to be sold.
The project will meet it’s aims by running a five step programme:
- EVENTS: to promote local food and engage more people in growing and eating it.
- VOLUNTEERING: offering volunteer opportunities to people interested in gaining experience in sustainable food production.
- MICROFARMS: developing new ‘microfarm’ sites on which new entrants to horticultural food production can test their ideas and gain experience.
- VOCATIONAL TRAINING: developing a new accredited training in sustainable horticultural food production.
- NEW MARKETS: creating new markets for locally produced food, including food hubs and new cooperative selling models.
The project has developed exciting partnerships. In Machynlleth the Centre for Alternative Technology have offered land, project support and shared vision, while in Newtown the project has partnered with community growing organisation Cultivate to share their community garden and their vision for a more resilient food system.
We are looking to connect with people interested in training as a horticultural food producer, as well as businesses interested to access high quality produce grown in the Machynlleth and Newtown areas.