Our Mission Statement
to bring together like-minded people who own land with those who would like to share and cultivate it for the greater good
The ethos behind this venture is to harness a resource, namely a 5 acre field in Islip, for the benefit of many local stakeholders. The landowner regards this as “land share,” bringing together like-minded people who own land with those who would like to share and cultivate it for a greater good.
Jacobs Field endeavors to allow local school children access to the field for educational purposes. Several days a week the children are learning about cultivating their own food in Jacobs Field. A recently added forest studies program allows children access to the forest on the field all under the leadership of a trained forestry instructor.
The land is low in nutrients, very stony and has barely any topsoil so to find an interesting crop was challenging. However, Lin Cooper, our founder, came up with the bright idea of lavender, bearing in mind how climate change is forcing northern European countries to adapt to lower rainfalls and higher temperatures. Our researchers indicated that Jacobs Field would be ideal for such a crop. A thousand plants of Maillette, Grosso and Royal Velvet were planted in 2007. The fruits of these plants were harvested in significant quantities in 2010 and from this stock oil for toiletries as well as fresh and dried flowers have now been produced for several years. We expand the number of 50 metre rows every year and are now up to 30 rows. During the school year, the children from Dr South’s School, Islip spend several morning each week in the field learning how to grow plants for which allotments have been provided. As well as growing their own food, this adventure has helped them to understand the eco-systems of the natural world and how they are in balance and harmony with one another. Jacobs Field provided a busery for a certified forestry teacher and the children are now able to study the natural environment, forestry and ecology while in the field.
What began as a small barren field has now brought forth many crops of lavender providing ingredients for lavender products that have been sold and the money used for the community and through this bit of earth the children of Islip have been able to gain an understanding of the world around them.
Who knows what will follow? It has been a joy to see such enthusiasm by all who have been involved in this project so far and it is a wonderful legacy wherever it might lead.