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Tyfu Dyfi – Field Scale Trials

Tyfu Dyfi wants to help increase the diversity of food crops (vegetables and/or grain) grown in the Dyfi Biosphere using agroecological practices. We would like to develop a small group of farmers / growers working together to share experiences and try new crops. If you are interested in being part of a small group trialling some new field scale food crops in 2022/23, please read the following about what we can offer and what we are looking for.

What we are looking for:

We want to connect with growers and farmers who have an idea for a new food crop they want to try. Participating growers and farmers will need:

  • either your own land on which to grow, or an agreement to use someone else's land.  Note we may be able to help if you have a good idea but no land

  • a passion for trying a new crop - see the section below (what do we mean by experimental) for more detail on what kind of crops we are looking for

  • some experience of farming / growing

  • a willingness to grow to agroecological principles

  • a willingness to take a risk on something which might not work

  • a desire to learn through experimentation

  • some of your own funding for seeds, soil improvement, fencing

  • a social aspect would be good but not essential; we would be particularly interested to hear any ideas that include the involvement of local communities and/or people from the more urban areas within the Biosphere

What we can offer:

We can support growers and farmers to try a new food crop by:

  • facilitating regular meetups of the group to discuss crop plans and progress

  • connecting you with experts who can offer advice and guidance

  • offering funds to pay contractors to bring machinery for cultivation and harvesting to your farm

  • assisting you with selling your produce (we are working within the Tyfu Dyfi project to build relationships with businesses and selling outlets across the Dyfi Biosphere)

  • helping you to document your experiment for others to learn from

  • if your idea includes a social element, we may be able to draw upon additional expertise within the consortium or our wider network, eg, in green prescribing

  • assisting you in whatever other ways we reasonably can

It is important that applicants realise that new crops might fail, this is part of the experimental nature of this project. As the farmer, you will be taking on the responsibility and the risk for growing your crop. You will also claim all the credit and financial gains from the sale of the crop.

Our hope that this Field Scale Growing group will offer you extra support so that you can experiment. We want to foster an atmosphere of peer to peer support within the group, as well as offering you some assistance from Tyfu Dyfi staff. We can be available to talk through the decisions you need to make and help with finding experts to answer your questions. We can offer hands on help when it comes to selling your produce, by connecting you with businesses and the outlets we work with. We can also help with promoting your crop.

Access the Expression of Interest Form 

If you are still interested in having your idea for field scale trials of a food crop considered by the Tyfu Dyfi team, click on the button to the left – this links to a short Google form which, if you fill it in, should give us enough information to be able to conduct an initial assessment of whether your suggestion is something we might support.  You may not have much detail yet - that's ok - we'd still like to hear from you! Please get something in by Mon 7th Feb 2022 if you can.

What happens next?

The relevant members of the Tyfu Dyfi consortium will meet to assess the Expressions of Interest we receive and select which field scale trial ideas we are going to support.

The selection criteria we apply will be apparent as you fill the EoI form in, but in summary, we are looking primarily for ideas that:

  • Have a good chance of success, which will be sustained and have an existence long after the Tyfu Dyfi project

  • Make a solid contribution towards local food security and helping the fight against loss of biodiversity and climate change

  • Are value for money

  • Contribute to wider green infrastructure

 

Once we have considered your expression of interest, we will get in touch to let you know the outcome, for those ideas we select for Tyfu Dyfi support, we will most likely require further information and discussion.

What do we mean by experimental?

Your experimental crop could be something totally innovative which has never been grown in the Dyfi Valley (for example, wasabi). It could be something deemed as fairly 'standard', which you have never grown yourself on your farm (for example, cabbages).

 

The experimental aspect of your field scale trial could be around scale. You might want to trial a crop you have grown before on a small scale, but using different techniques to produce more (for example, producing a field of kale rather than a few beds).

 

The experimental aspect of your field scale trial could be about technique, you might want to try a new technique of producing a crop you have grown before (for example, growing leeks using mechanised planting or degradable mulch).

 

The experimental aspect of your crop could be about how it is sold. You might have a new way of getting orders or connecting with your customers (for example, asking customers to pre order rows of potatoes and planting them to match demand).

 

We will consider working with you on a diversity of different experimental crops.

Timeline

The Field Scale Growing group will start early 2022 and run until June 2023.  We are looking to work with growers and farmers who can harvest a crop during this time. 

 

If you are interested in growing perennial crops such as fruit trees - please go to this section