Earthed Up! is a collectively managed workers co-operative based in Belper, Derbyshire.
All workers are invited to be members, all members are directors. We have 3 members: Cynthia Troche, Garethe Hughes, and Ryan Sandford-Blackburn.
We grow our plants and gardens without the use of harmful chemicals. We don’t use peat anywhere.
For potting, we have been using Melcourt peat free compost; we are trialing Dalefoot wool compost. We make our own potting mix, incorporating biochar, with charcoal from a local woodland. We sell some plants bareroot in winter.
We sell Dalefoot and SylvaGrow peat free composts and deliver within 10 miles of Belper.
We are running courses, offer garden consultations and talks for groups. The Learn page has more details.
Where to find us
We grow at 3 different small rented sites in the Belper area. In 2021, our first year, we grew and sold hundreds of plants. Some found homes in our gardens, that we’re still only just getting started on!
By appointment only, you can collect orders from our patch at Belper Lane End, near The Bulls Head pub DE56 2DL.
what3words address: ///stages.endearing.surveyed
Events around Derbyshire Earthed Up! will be at in 2022
We are confirmed to be at the following events:
Plastic Free Duffield, Saturday 14 May 2022, 2-4pm
Belper Plant Fair, Market Place, Sunday 15 May 2022, 10am-3pm
Duffield Methodist Chruch, Satuday 4 + 18 June 2022, 9-12
Belper Goes Green, Sunday 12 June 2022
Ambergate Carnival, Saturday 9 July 2022
Derby City Forest pop up, 29-31 July 2022
Ashover home produce show, Ashover, 3 September 2-5pm
National permaculture convergence, Oxfordshire, 9-11 September 2022
Perennial plant propagation & soil health demos, De Bradelei Mill, Belper, a My Green Community event, 16 September 11am-2pm
Derbyshire Woodland Festival, Elvaston Castle, 17 & 18 September 2022
FERMENT! at Whistlewood Common, 24 & 25 September 2022 (talk only, no plant stall)
Please contact us if you know of somewhere you think it’d be good for us to be.
Support us – our loanstock offer
Loanstock is a way for us as a registered co-operative society to raise investment. We are seeking loanstock as a young business to be able to pay workers and grow the business to meet our mission and aims.
A loanstock scheme is essentially a bond scheme whereby people who want to support a co-operative lend money and can choose to receive a small interest on the investment.
It is a targeted ethical investment scheme with a high level of accountability, as investors know exactly what their money is being used for. We’d prefer to have a relationship with you, our community, rather than a bank or corporate lender.
Want to learn more about what we do? You’re always welcome to get in touch! Or read on.
With our contribution, people are enabled to regenerate land that they have stewardship over, and themselves.
Broaden the horizons of people, by sharing the benefits and possibilities of edible and useful plants. Develop a flourishing agroecological plant nursery. To make healthy plants accessible locally.
- Operate ethically/equitably, continually talk about what is fair
- Help to mitigate against the impact of climate change, build resilience and champion biodiversity through low and zero carbon practises
- Educate in the benefits and possibilities of edible and useful plants
- Provide inspiration for a regenerative culture/approach, including the use of permaculture design and forest gardening
- Give away a % of stock for community planting
- Provide a living wage for employees
- Develop our understanding and skills and work in the way that suits us as individuals.
- Create beautiful spaces to provide for our families and friends
- Promote positive mental, physical, emotional and planetary health through our work practises and processes.
- Remove organisational barriers to enable increased access for marginalised people
The seed of an idea
The business formed in 2020, with four people who had formed friendships through a common love of growing food in a way that respects the environment. Belper permaculture network had brought us together.
The East Midlands needs a source of healthy, edible and useful perennial plants. Inspired by Cool Temperate nursery and the decades of work by Phil Corbett, on seeing his steady journey into retirement, we set about adding to the offering.
We have much appreciation for Ali, Katie and Rob, who helped form the first shape of our business, from the get go. Also to Jennie who helped at a critical time. Thank you for your work.
Resilience in co-operation
In the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, post-lockdown, from the start we found ways to work together to grow plants and the business. We haven’t been held back by the pandemic, with the majority of our work and all sales being outside.
In the first year, we registered as a co-operative society, sold around 500 plants and 400 bags of high quality peat-free compost. We attended local markets and events, hosted our own sales, and launched an online shop. We had many, many enthusing conversations with people about plants, gardens and food and medicine.
The end of 2021 saw changes in membership and as we start 2022 we have solid foundations and are going from strength to strength. Through co-operation, we have strength and resilience.
Why a workers co-operative?
We are a registered society – a legal form to register a business. We operate as a workers co-operative, meaning our members are those who work for us. The workers co-own the business. Profits are reinvested in the business to meet our mission. We also collectively manage the business, with a flat structure.
From Co-operatives UK: “There are seven co-operative principles that define how a co-op operates:
- A co-op is owned and controlled by its members. It exists for the benefit of its members, who may be customers, workers, suppliers or the wider community.
- A co-op is democratic – this means every member has an equal say in how it’s run and how profits are used.
- Every member contributes financially in some way – from buying products, working for the co-op, investing in it or deciding how to spend its profits.
- A co-op is an independent business, owned and controlled by its members.
- It offers education and training to everyone involved, so they can develop the co-op and promote the benefits of co-operation.
- It co-operates, works with and supports other co-ops.
- A co-op supports the communities it works with.”