Current Size: 100%
Holifield Farm is a community project with many friends.The farm is a 32 acre small holding, This includes 20 acres of arable land and 10 acres of woodland and scrubland. It is a beautiful location where there are lots of interesing things you can do. When we bought the land in 1992 it had no building on it. We first built a studio and workshop which we first used as a tearoom. Since then we have built a new tearoom, a farm house, polytunnels, a woodland walk and lots of gardens.
We are soon to start building a new classroom and office and we are looking for investors to help us to fund this project. This classroom will enable us to expand and offer more workshops to the trainees with special needs who come here on a daily basis. It will also be available to the wider community. The building will be as sustainable as possible and will be using reclaimed and recycled materials where available.
Holifield Farm Project was started by Robert West 25 years ago. He is still the manager today. He bought the land with the intentions of starting a community educational centre and our objectives and challenges are still the same today.
We currently employ, directly and indirectly, 20 members of staff who are skilled and qualified within their field. We have four businesses. Our main business is our day care facility. The sister project is Zelda School, which is a nursery school for 2 – 8 year olds, which is run in 2 yurts on the farm and has a unique philosophy.
We have 3 supporting businesses that compliment and subsidise our primary business – the day care centre – which has been running on the farm for over 20 years. These are the Marquee hire, the processing of our reclaimed hardwood and our farm produce. Prior to the day care centre we had a city link and we were doing supervision for children who came out of secure units.
Holifield Farms objectives have tried to be as holistic as possible and inclusive rather than exclusive. To date we have planted thousands of trees, put in 3 orchards, are 50% self sufficient in terms of energy, and have the challenge of itself and the community being sustainable. We are an open farm so the community uses it. We run community events from small events to Holifair, which has 3000 attending. It’s had one of the largest reclamation projects in Cornwall with over 3000 tons of hardwood from the Falmouth docks.
The success of our day care centre is that we have an average growth of 10% per year and a lot of the original trainees or clients who started with us over 20 years ago are still with us today. Currently we have 38 trainees coming in on their own personal timetables. As part of the centre’s service we offer woodland management skills, conservation and walks, arts and crafts, horticulture, animal care, music and yoga. We farm organically within our polytunnels and have a small stock of livestock, i.e. hens & bullocks
We are recommended as a highly professional and important service within our sector. We support not only the trainee, but the family circumstances in many situations.
We have 5 units of accommodation, which have just been approved by the Council, for the supporting staff of the Holifield Farm Project day care centre. These are people who are qualified and skilled in their area, choosing to live in a more ethical, sustainable and low impact lifestyle, which is also a good example to others. Having our supporting staff living with us is paramount as it not only reduces the traffic for Bonallack Lane and Gweek, therefore reducing our carbon footprint, but it also puts staff on the farm for sharing of duties, care of crops and animals and it adds security to the place. It also means we can offer a wage in line with the viability of the project. We are a committed group of people, who enjoy working together and living this sustainable lifestyle.Look at the photos below to see around our farm.