A FARM near St Davids welcomed a local Welsh Assembly visitor recently and giving an insight into its Organic Community Agriculture scheme.

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies found out more about the scheme running at Caerhys Farm and how it works in practice.

Volunteers work together to grow seasonal produce and then that produce is distributed amongst its members. Sharers pay a monthly membership, and once a week visit the farm or the nearest pick-up point to collect their share of the produce.

Mr Davies said: “Community Supported Agriculture is certainly on the rise across the UK and so I was delighted to visit Caerhys Farm to learn more about the Farm’s Organic Community Agriculture scheme. It’s very much a partnership in which the responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared and there a number of benefits to farming this way, as it connects the farm with the local community and also has a positive impact on the wellbeing of those involved. Indeed, this style of farming could be good for the sustainability of farming as an industry in the future and it’s great to see this activity taking place here in Pembrokeshire.”

The scheme has improved the farm's fortunes as well as helping the family behind it continue their work on the land.

Gerald Miles runs the farm and has said that the concept behind the scheme is based on "mutual benefit and shared risk".

Caerhys Organic Community Agriculture started life in March 2010 with a small group of people including farmer Gerald Miles and founding members Val & Wyn Buick, Gill Lewis, Jacki Sime, Ailsa Buick, Darren Gibbs and Rupert Dunn.

Gerald wanted to secure a sustainable future for his farm and the founding members supported him in achieving this through the Community Support Agriculture (CSA) model.

Mr Davies added: “As a result of this type of farming, Gerald Miles’ son Carwyn was able to return to the family farm and receive a wage as a grower and so it’s crucial that farmers across Wales recognise the impact that this style of farming could have on the future of family run farms. Of course, the volunteers work together on the land directly managing the produce and maintaining a sustainable local partnership that’s not just good for their health, but for their wellbeing too – and so the benefits of this farming is clear for all to see. Therefore, I sincerely wish the scheme well and look forward to hearing it go from strength to strength in the future. For more information on this farm and how it operates, please visit coca-csa.org.”