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Growing veg could help Diss community

PUBLISHED: 09:18 03 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 12 July 2010

William Hudson.

William Hudson.

GROWING cheap and nutritious fruit and vegetables has become a popular way to beat the credit crunch for those lucky enough to have their own plot.

GROWING cheap and nutritious fruit and vegetables has become a popular way to beat the credit crunch for those lucky enough to have their own plot.

Now an alternative to growing your own is being promoted by former fruit farmer William Hudson who is hoping to set up a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) project in the Diss area, where he recently moved with his wife.

A director of East Anglia Food Link - a not-for-profit organisation working for the common good - he is advocating a system which has been thriving in Stroud since 2002, where a group of people pay a local farmer to grow a supply of fresh fruit and vegetables for them.

“What we are looking for is anybody who might be interested in starting a new enterprise growing fruit and vegetables specifically for local sales. It could be a possible business for a young entrant to farming, it could be a farmer's son looking to start a separate enterprise,” he said. “We are looking for the right land that is not too heavy, although it is possible to grow fruit and vegetables on heavy soil.”

The ideal would be clean, light agricultural land of between one and five acres available for rent, although anything will be considered, including the tenancy of a small farm.

“We are basically trying to take business back from the supermarkets,” said Mr Hudson, of Bressingham, who grew fruit in Essex for nearly 20 years and now works as a consultant for East Anglia Food Link on fresh produce supply chains.

He stressed that even if there was no credit crunch, it would still be an important initiative.

“There are no projects like this in the area at the moment, although I have just heard this morning that we are in the process of setting one up in Norwich, and we could be starting one in Beccles as well. East Anglia Food Link can set things up, we can run farms if necessary, or we can simply offer advice and hold people's hands.”

Email Mr Hudson at whudson@aspects.net or telephone 07879 666100 or 01379 688374.

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