As an entirely volunteer led organisation, the opportunities to get involved at Oakbrook Farm are endless. Although we have a small number of paid contractors who keep our operations running, we have no bosses: our management is 100% member led. (Note, this is distinct from the work of our tenant projects, some of whom do earn a living from their farm enterprises, as well as organising their own volunteers). Community involvement is central to our vision, so if you have an idea for the farm that you would like to explore, we would love to hear from you! Alternatively you might like to join one of our existing volunteer teams.
As we currently have no paid land coordinator, most of the (literal) heavy lifting and infrastructure improvements on the farm are currently done by volunteers. In addition to making a huge contribution to the farm, we hope that volunteering offers a chance to learn new skills, meet new people and enjoy spending time outdoors. Some recent tasks completed by this team include building our new compost toilet, digging holes for fence posts, improving natural bridges around the brook, and creating wood-chip paths.
Family volunteer days happen monthly, usually on a Saturday and always from 10am until 2pm. Aside from some hard work together, the day normally involves a picnic around the campfire and some fantastic company! As we always have a variety of tasks to complete, all are welcome regardless of age or ability and whether as a regular commitment or as a one-off session. See our events page for the next volunteer date.
Biodynamic Land Care Group
As a biodynamic farm, there is an additional aspect to our land care that takes us above and beyond even organic farming practices. The use of herbal and mineral preparations to improve health and vitality of the soil, compost and crops is a mainstay of biodynamic farming. Horn Silica promotes the metabolism and assimilation of plants and enhances plant health by increasing their resilience. This group takes responsibility for organising biodynamic land care and events, including preparation spraying, celebrating festivals and action research, which are open to all.
Friday Farmday Families
If you are looking for another way to get involved with children during the week, our Friday Farmday group are a team of home educating families who meet in the Haven field at Oakbrook every Friday. This team enjoy playing in the stream, making campfires, playing music and helping out with jobs on the farm.
The Haven Steering Group
The Haven steering group is a broader team of volunteers who are involved in directing developments specifically relating to our Haven field and the nature corridor. These spaces are the heart of the farm, where our mission to help local people connect with nature comes into being. As such we want to invite more people to take part in shaping their growth – and encourage you to join in!
Some upcoming projects and challenges we hope to explore are (including but not limited to):
- Compost toilet management (construction nearly finished)
- Tree work – removal of dying ash and how to replant
- Potential for a gravity pump to feed water to the dairy – a complex engineering feat!
- Camping facilities on the farm
The commitment can be completely flexible depending on your interests and available time. Until now this group has been small, however our hope and vision is that in the future it can be driven by those involved, so if you have an idea you would like to bring to fruition, we would love to hear about it.