A group of growers and food educators local to Okehampton hope to transform their shop and benefit the local community, but they need your help!

Harvest Farm Shop in Okehampton’s Red Lion Yard, which has been run by local organic growers Martin and Sara for the last 2 years, is becoming a ‘not for profit’ workers co-op with 5 other members – the ‘Harvest Workers’ Co-op’.

As well as continuing to offer affordable, local and organic groceries, the shop will develop new off-site educational activities, working with local schools and groups to help the community to engage in the social, environmental and health issues surrounding food and farming.

So far, the group have raised just over £2,000 but need to raise £15,000 in total by the 26th of June – they say that their vision is to start an “Okehampton Food Revolution”, benefiting local people and the local economy.

Martin and Sara have always been keen to run the shop co-operatively. Martin says: “We saw this as an opportunity to increase access to organic food in the local area and to help local people to understand the key role that farming plays in our health, the environment and the local economy”.

The Crowdfunding campaign asks for help to give the shop a much needed makeover, to expand into community-led events and to purchase vital equipment. In return for donations, the group offer a wealth of rewards for their community; weekly bread from the shop, a yoga retreat, an introduction to sourdough course, wild food walks, farm-based seasonal cooking and many more local, food-related prizes – all a taster of what’s to come. The campaign will run for only two more weeks in June, in order to start the co-operative in July this year.

Events relating to farming, wildlife, food security and working the land sustainably are on the Harvest Workers’ Co-op’s agenda for their educational programme, which they believe will better secure our food system for the future. The group aim to support local growers, to interact with the public and to start a food conversation within the market town of Okehampton.

Harvest Worker's Co-op offers a real alternative to supermarket shopping with a focus on small scale, local suppliers growing seasonal food using natural methods. “We stock local, organic, sustainable and ethically produced food, all sourced with both our customers and producers in mind”; says Sara.

To find out more about the Harvest Workers’ Co-op and their Crowdfunding campaign, visit their page at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/harvest-workers-co-op.