Brookside Flower Farm is an Environmentally Friendly Social Enterprise in Tregrehan Mills St Austell. The developing 2.5 acre site consists of a flower farm, wellbeing gardens, soft fruit, vines, vegetable beds, orchard and some wildlife areas. We also keep rare breed sheep and bees in top bar hives. We are situated close to the largest town in Cornwall St Austell with major road and public transport links nearby. The valley is very picturesque and is sheltered on three sides by hills providing a warm microclimate ideal for flowers.
Our approach is permaculture based; with three aims; -Earth Care, People Care and Fair share
We nurture and care for the land by encouraging natural ecosystems to create a balanced naturally healthy garden, with the balance to control garden pests and diseases in an environmentally friendly way, without the use of harmful pesticides or chemically produced fertilisers. We have created a rich, healthy, living landscape where many species of wildlife make their home amongst the diverse range of flowers, fruits and leaves that nourish them. Not just butterflies, bees and pollinating insects, but many mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles are all as much a part of the community at Brookside Flower Farm.
We have created a place of tranquility to allow us to take the time to nurture ourselves; and to release our body and mind from the stresses of the day to be in a place of peace and harmony with nature. Growing flowers together in a beautiful environment, for those who have the time to be involved, also improves our mental and physical wellbeing. We also have programmes improving mental health, physical health, confidence and self-esteem. We also offer mindfulness courses and daily practice in our workshop in the flower field for staff. We deliver courses, training and workshops. We intend to expand our services to offer holiday retreats in collaboration with local accommodation providers to support local business.
The development and building of community cohesion is important to us. We offer our local community, community events and the opportunity to be involved. We aim to address isolation and loneliness and just general ‘feel good’ . We provide a focus for young people for building friendships, enjoying the fresh air and physical exercise, also in the older population whose families have moved away, and the many people and families who have moved into the area. We work with and support local businesses and offer jobs training and apprentice opportunities too. We also hold workshops and events and invite the community into the farm.
Community Supported Agriculture CSA
We sell our plants, seeds and flowers at the farm and locally at farmers markets to support our venture we aim to be financially sustainable. We also run a CSA scheme which supplies local businesses with buckets of flowers. A member joins in the winter/early spring before the growing season starts and their payment helps our farm buy seeds and other supplies for the coming year.
The CSA is a ideal for members who love to create their own floral art and bouquets around the house. It is ideal for local restaurants and hotels that are environmentally conscious and want to fill vases on their tables and have flowers on the reception.
The farm has a volunteer programme to help grow flowers and provide a safe and attractive environment for the needs of volunteers, staff, visitors and other groups and charities who use the farm.
Wellbeing gardens are being developed alongside the main flower growing area, with the aim of working with disadvantaged groups, such as mental health problems and those recovering from illness/injury or in receipt of benefits wanting to get back into the workplace. We are currently working with Restormel Mind the mental health charity on a garden project at the farm.
Workshops Courses Activities
We also offer mindfulness courses, permaculture, wellbeing and nature based craft activities.