Farm & Wild
Farm Flowers 2020-21
"Where would we be without flowers and trees, they lift the soul."
We are really excited to be offering several exciting projects in 2020/21 that expand our therapeutic and environmental work at our tiny Worthing community flower farm and a Sompting Estate barnyard full of wildflowers. We will need to review and adapt these activities in response to the pandemic restrictions at any time, but we know that focusing on gardening and nature is giving us resilience through these challenging times and we want to share that with other people. This work is largely thanks to the Rampion Fund at Sussex Community Foundation as well as our flower scheme subscribers, and also to some kind donations over the last year.
See how you can join in below.
Know your flowers
"The bouquets were stunningly beautiful, unusual and unique."
Our bunches of flowers differ from those mass-produced and imported for supermarkets and florists because they are truly seasonal and include the wild, even 'weeds'. We want to help you explore the wonderful variety, special quality and fragrance of locally-grown, seasonal cut-flowers, as well as their wild relations and those Sussex wildflowers becoming increasingly rare.
You will learn what's in season, identify cultivated and wild chalk downland flowers, what tasks are happening in the cutting-garden and the traditional meanings, usage and folklore of some of these flowers. If you want to know more about Worthing's heritage cut-flowers (chrysanthemums, gladioli and carnations), which wildflowers are at risk of becoming extinct or what to include in your cutting patch at home, this programme is for you. This year we will share videos and our newsletter, and if the pandemic allows next year there will be outdoor experiences too.
October 2020 - Cool flowers: Find out which rich-hued flowers are in season and get next year off to a great start with autumn-sown hardy annuals and spring bulbs.
November 2020 - Bedding down: As our first frosts stop annuals in their tracks look to wonderful shrubs and dried flowers, move indoors for chrysanthemums and over-winter those dahlias.
January 2021 - Mid-winter blooms: They do exist and all the more exquisite for their rarity and fragrance!
February - Who needs roses! Choose environmentally-friendly Tulips, Anemones and scented Narcissus for your Valentine instead.
March, April, May, June - Wildflower walks to a Sompting Barnyard to learn what's flowering in the countryside and how to increase biodiversity, and farm tours in Worthing to learn how to sow, grow and use a cutting patch through spring and summer.
'Returning' - connecting to flowers, the seasons and self
"The garden and learning about nature has opened up a healing place in me."
A small, informal group for women recovering from trauma (including domestic violence) and other mental health challenges to explore and reconnect with nature. Using our farm and wild flowers, it will be about grounding, exploring our senses and expressing ourselves through crafting activities such as flower-pressing, lino-cutting and printing. A chance to relax, listen, talk and/or simply 'be'.
Thanks to Sunny Worthing Arts Group and Paul and Lynn Suter for their kind donations towards these programmes.
September/October 2020: fully booked
Spring 2021 dates tbc to include a wildflower walk
Flower Farm work experience
"I learnt about how to work, socialise and communicate with different people... I also had lots of different and unique jobs, which helped me see the broader side of horticulture."
We are providing work experience placements for young people wanting a career in horticulture including those with learning difficulties or autism and Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Young People. They will be helping us to manage and develop a wildflower site in Sompting (in partnership with Sompting Estate) as well as learning about all aspects of small-scale flower farming from growing through to harvesting and marketing.
Placements are being arranged through Brinsbury College and Child and Adult Mental Health Services.
Flowers for sale
"This holistic approach to enjoying flowers whilst also doing a bit for the planet, wildlife and humankind is a beautiful thing."
We grow and sell our gorgeous, scented, seasonal flowers mainly through a subscription scheme. We provide 20 flower farm supporters who pay up-front with a large mixed bunch of garden and wild flowers each month between June and October. You can also pre-book occasional bouquets and bunches throughout the year and we sell small jam-jar posies at various local shops or direct from our door. This income supports our therapeutic work in the community. For care homes, where we can no longer run Garden Clubs due to the Corona virus, a bunch of our flowers with accompanying notes on identification and talking-points, can be used by an activities coordinator to create an in-house activity that would bring residents together to stimulate their senses, encourage reminiscence and sharing of associations and knowledge. Please contact us to see what's available.