Funding amount:
EAFRD (WG RC_RDP Wales) contribution

In March 2020 Big Meadow CSA received a grant of £30,000 from the RDP Leader Fund. As the project comes to a close we highlight the impact that the project has had on the rural community.

Based in Llangennith, an isolated rural area on Gower with limited access to shops or choices to opt for local, package free food, the project has created a vibrant, sustainable food production scheme for its membership with regular volunteering opportunities and maximum community involvement, which gained support through RDP.
Visiting the site on a beautiful autumnal day we were shown around by Abbi who is a director of Big Meadow and her rescue dog Morris. Laura, the scheme's Volunteer Coordinator, was busy harvesting the seasonal vegetables still growing in the field. 

The 2 acre site that was formerly used for grazing cattle, has a number of large growing beds, in which a good range of healthy produce is grown, ranging rainbow chard to strawberries and espalier pears. The project uses crop rotation, the growing of green manure and 'home grown' compost to maintain the structure and fertility of the ground. Neighbouring farmers who are supportive of the project provided lots of support and guidance. The project has installed 3 large poly-tunnels with the assistance of volunteers, a result of which the growing season is extended. Even in November, there was still a good crop of tomatoes to be gathered and an extensive range of salad crops available for cutting.

However, the amazing project is not solely about the sustainable production of food and volunteering opportunities that are offered.

It has an added element in the form of the residential programme "Surf N Turf". Big Meadow has worked closely with the mental health charity Platform4YP to provide both residential and day experiences for young people. This programme seeks to bring those experiencing challenges with their mental health into a rural setting to engage with the growing of produce and it's transformation into delicious meals.

Activities included working the land and exploring food options grown, hill walking, holistic actives centred around wild foods and foraging, and traditional crafts. Those taking part are often experiencing a rural, tranquil environment for the first time and are encouraged to take time out to focus on their surroundings and 'live in the moment'. Feedback from the young people has been encouraging and positive with two young people stating the course had improved their issues and relationships with food.

image of a vegetable box grown at big meadow

Every effort has been made to engage as many local people as possible with the project. School visits are a regular occurrence, with the most recent visits from Llanrhidian Primary focusing on the harvesting of pumpkins. On 30 September 2021, Big Meadow held their annual harvest part in celebration of the end of their second growing season. They had a great turn out despite rain, rain and yet more rain, and even managed to bring in the squash  harvest in between the showers.
Many congratulations to all involved on a very successful project. All those involved in Big Meadow have developed a sustainable and worthwhile venture. We wish you all the best going forward.

Want to find out more? Check out Big Meadow CSA on Facebook!

Further project information:

Helen Grey
Telephone number:
01792 636992
Email project contact