One Church Brighton

Storm Eunice shredded Rock Farm polytunnels. Help us rebuild.

We're having an old fashioned barn raising (well, polytunnel raising) after record-breaking winds clobbered two of three covered growing spaces. These tunnels are crucial to our core activities: Food growing, therapeutic care and training.
raised of £8,500 target
by 114 supporters
RCN 1142607


Rock Farm's regenerative growing programme and therapeutic horticulture project have exploded through the Covid pandemic as more people buy local food and seek out mental health support. Hundreds of people each year visit the six-acre site in West Sussex for nature connection, community support, volunteering, carbon-negative farming lessons and superb produce. Thousands more connect with Rock Farm's top quality produce, from raspberries to pumpkins, at Florence Road Market and through local pubs, restaurants, food banks and food projects.

Any gardener will tell you: There's nothing like a covered space to make heat-loving crops flourish, enable groups to gather when the weather is dodgy and help us produce food right through the British winters. We've even added a new tunnel recently with a retractable roof to boost production of our popular mixed salads and provide a new space where young people can find training in sustainable growing techniques. Then Storm Eunice came along.

Before the first-ever red wind warning had finished blasting through the Southeast of England, just the metal hoops were left on our retractable tunnel and the roof of our professionally built double-span tunnel was in tatters, the centre beam bent down onto the blueberry row. We've scrambled to get expert advice on the repairs and now we need your support to purchase and erect new structural elements, buttress them against future extreme storms and cover them with long-lasting polythene.

Every pound helps, but we'd suggest a £20 minimum to help us turn this around quickly before spring planting begins. The beetroot seeds are meant to go in now, and we're just weeks away from tomato sowing.

We won't stop opening our site to just about anyone, of course. We provide cookery days for low income families, young growers' training in our strawberry and lettuce patches, weekend ecotherapy retreats, one-to-one mental health support programmes, permaculture residencies, WWOOFing stays, women's wellbeing sessions, urban-to-rural transport to connect marginalised people to food sources, corporate team days and three open volunteer days each week.

Rock Farm is one of the social projects within One Church Brighton. Any remaining funds after rebuilding our polytunnels will remain within the Rock Farm project. For more information, find us on Instagram or Facebook.

Meanwhile, here's what some of the people who join us say about Rock Farm:

"Rock Farm is a safe, nurturing space, where you are free to be yourself and connect with nature. I always feel so supported and inspired every time I visit. It has helped me reconnect with the community in a gentle, non-pressuring environment. Whether you want to get your hands dirty, or are having a hard day and just want to sit by the fire with a cup of tea, Rock Farm is the place. I am so grateful to all the staff and for this piece of land and forest to share."

"Rock Farm is a place where I can be myself and share my lifelong knowledge of growing first learned from my Grandfather. This place has supported me. There are people I can relate to, support, discuss and debate with and learn from. In this Covid year it has really been a mainstay for my mental and physical health as I live on my own."

"Volunteering at Rock Farm is integral to my mental health and physical wellbeing and a key day in my week which I make every effort not to miss. When I walk through the gate, my daily worries slip from my shoulders with the anticipation of reconnecting with the earth, the soil, growing and nature. Since moving house and feeling uprooted, lost and anxious, becoming part of the farm communityhas been at the heartof getting settled in a new location and making new friends.During the lockdown period, it has become my safe space whilst living with family and feeling cut off from my usual activities."

About the charity

One Church Brighton

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RCN 1142607
One Church Brighton is a thirving and passionate community trying to bring positive transformation. Characterised by entrepreneurial and collaborative activity, we run diverse, innovative and frontline projects serving those in need, in Brighton and Hove.

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