A COUPLE are raising money to build a new eco-friendly storage facility for their organic market-garden.

Stephen Atkinson and Hélène Maerschalck, both 29, launched the Stonelynk Organics vegetable garden in Hastings in 2018.

The small market-garden provides organic fruit and vegetables to the community.

Stephen said: “Now in our fifth year, we have expanded our site of production from one acre to two acres, and have started hosting volunteer days in the garden.

“Business is growing as the demand for local organic produce increases.

The Argus: Stephen Atkinson and Hélène MaerschalckStephen Atkinson and Hélène Maerschalck

“However, this has meant that our small timber shed has quickly become insufficient for our needs. The time has come for us to build a workshop.

“We have worked with Edward Dale-Harris of SAWA Architecture to design a beautiful and sustainably built workshop, which will sit next to our current shed.

“The workshop will be built by Roundwood Design, using sustainably sourced UK Larch and Douglas fir logs.

“The plans have been approved by Rother District Council, and now all we need are the funds to build it.”

The Argus: Stonelynk Organics produceStonelynk Organics produce

The pair say they farm in a way that is “gentle to the local ecosystem” and “respectful of natural processes”.

Currently, they store their tools and equipment in a small timber shed, where they are also forced to take lunch breaks in the winter months.

This and the recent introduction of volunteer days leading to more equipment being required, means the shed is now too small for the farm.

Stephen added: “Our hope is for Stonelynk Organics to develop into a space for connection; where neighbours can connect with each other through community events, and locals can connect to nature through open days and educational activities.

“Our workshop will allow us to host events and training courses for locals wanting to learn all about sustainable food production and organic farming.

The Argus: Plans for the new workshopPlans for the new workshop

“It would also allow us to enhance our volunteer opportunities, giving people the chance to get their hands in the soil and meet like-minded others, building confidence and community over the veggie beds.

“We have benefitted so much in the past through the opportunity to volunteer, and would love to pass this opportunity on to more and more people.”

The pair have launched a Gofundme to help raise the money needed for the workshop, to donate visit: www.gofundme.com/f/9dsa5-stonelynk-organics-workshop-fundraiser

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