The Peasant Evolution Producers' Co-Operative

The Peasant Evolution Producers’ Co-Operative is a collective of small-scale producers in West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon who have joined together to help each other make a viable living off the land. We believe that being a peasant is a way towards the future. We promote organic farming and sustainable land management, fairtrade, rural crafts and handmade, healthy local food.

We have a collectively owned processing barn where we have an old cider press for making juice, a jam and chutney kitchen, a dairy, a herb processing room and a meat cutting room.

A few years ago we decided that we needed a set of collecively owned processing rooms so that we could add value to the products produced on our smallholdings. We applied for grants to build a community barn from Chalk and CheeseAONB Sustainable Development Fundthe Low Carbon Building ProjectEDF Green Energy Fund and The Local Food Fund all of whom were incredibly excited about supporting grass roots producers.

We employed local timber framers to build the barn. The barn was designed by Mike Gardener of Woodmanship. The barn was made from locally sourced Douglas Fir, milled by Mike and Tinker’s Bubble. We held a series of courses in eco-building to help build the barn. The courses were run by Henry Russell. We thatched the barn with the help of Nick Max-Smith who patiently co-ordinated and taught over 40 volunteers in the art of thatching.

The Co-operative's barn

The Co-operative's barn

Barn raising

Barn raising

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn - Zoe hewing with an adze

Timber framing course during the building of the co-operative barn - Zoe hewing with an adze

The barn is powered by the wind and sun. We have a 2.5kW Proven wind turbine and an array of solar panels which power an off-grid battery bank. The power is converted to standard main voltage to power all of our equipment. The system was designed and installed by Equinox Energy.

Photovoltaic solar panels provide electricity for the co-operative processing barn

Photovoltaic solar panels provide electricity for the co-operative processing barn

Wind Generator

Wind Generator

Hot water is provided to the barn by an array of solar hot water panels installed by Jim Shearman. The water is from a spring and grey water is filtered through a reed bed system designed by Yes Reed Bed Sytems.

Solar hot water panels at the co-operative processing barn

Solar hot water panels at the co-operative processing barn

 

For information about the different products we produce please visit our products pages.

Products from the Co-op are available at our market stall – every Saturday on South Street, Bridport, Dorset.

Ele on the Fivepenny market stall

Ele on the Fivepenny market stall

Contact email: jyoti@tlio.org.uk