Salop Drive Market Garden, Sandwell, West Midlands
Salop Drive Market Garden demonstrates how a local restaurant can buy the freshest produce and help imprpve the lives of local people living with disabilities.
Salop Drive Market Garden is a three-acre working market garden run by Tim Botfield, a horticultural therapist, and his colleague. The garden was originally developed by a charity that works with disabled people to provide therapeutic activities and developed into receiving funding from the local Primary Care Trust (PCT) to provide services for local vulnerable people.
The site developed from a derelict allotment site over a period of five years and they now sell a weekly veg box, which contains mostly their own produce, and can have up to 60 customers during peak season. They also sell any surplus produce to a local restaurant located a mile down the road, and take orders in the winter on new baby plants that they sell to customers in spring. Such sales of local produce help the scheme to become more financially resilient.
“We have to subsidise the cost of the vegetables that we produce as we are in a low income area. We are now faced with the challenge of how to make this venture sustainable if our funding runs out.”
Tim Botfield, Salop Drive Market Garden
The box scheme charges £4 a week to customers which is a price that they subsidise. Their PCT funding is drawing to an end next year which means they are going to be assessing their pricing to try and make the box scheme self sustaining.