Earlier this week I visited Gorgie City Farm to meet new Manager Ross MacKenzie and hear about his plans for the organisation.
The visit began with a tour from Ross and Farm and Estates Assistant, Donna Duncan, where I got the chance to meet some of the new animals and meet local volunteers.
Gorgie City Farm has been operating for just over thirty years providing a green space in the heart of the city. The organisation provides a wide range of educational workshops and opportunities for schools and community groups to get involved. They also run a number of social enterprises, including an excellent cafe. The proceeds of the farm’s enterprises are ploughed back into improving the organisation.
When I was visiting, I met up with members of Garvald, a voluntary organisation providing support for adults with learning disabilities. They are one of a number of organisations, including LEAP and Bethany Christian Trust, who volunteer with Gorgie City Farm to provide opportunities for their members.
Since taking over as Manager of the project, Ross has done tremendous work returning the once loss making venture to a break even point. With the farm operating on an even keel, Ross is now looking at taking the next step, by bringing the Council-owned land that the farm operates on into community ownership and expanding its social enterprise model.
I was interested to hear about his plans for the Farm and we discussed how the forthcoming Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill could provide an opportunity to assist the process of taking on community ownership.
If you would like to find out more about the farm’s work or would like to get involved, you can find out more from their website.