Windermere Food Farm has launched a CrowdFunder to fund a pond project to help with the next part of its healthy food initiative.

Its aim is to give local people from all backgrounds access to healthy produce and the means to grow it themselves.

Established two years ago by local man Tim Keenan, the food farm's purpose was to be a non-monetised initiative that the local community could donate time, seeds and tools to.

Enlisting the help of Windermere Hotel manager Miguel Sanchez and Alan Jennings, they and a group of volunteers cultivated unused land to grow sustainably produced organic vegetables for the local food bank.

Tim, who has worked in restaurants and hotels for over 33 years, says he has a good understanding of the importance of locally sourced produce and its documented health benefits.

The Westmorland Gazette: The new polytunnelDuring lockdown in a small north-facing garden, he produced enough vegetables and herbs to sustain his family over the summer.

He was struck by how much food could be grown in such a small space. He says with surging inflation and the cost of living biting, the reliance on food banks remains 'unacceptably high.

"The fact that food banks should be required at all is disgraceful," Tim said. "It would be great if everyone could grow as much of their own food as possible and everyone should have access to healthy food.

"The farm is set up to encourage local people to get involved and produce food for themselves and for the food bank.

The Westmorland Gazette: 2023 saw a very successful harvest2023 saw a record harvest and the farm was awarded two certificates from the RHS Britain in Bloom project. The first was for providing a thriving community project and the second for encouraging biodiversity at the site.

Now in its third season, the 200-plus people who have helped at the farm have become invaluable.

The latest part of the project has seen a pond dug that will attract more insects and wildlife.

This will help keep aphid populations and other crop-attacking insects at bay which is hoped to to further increase vegetable yields and natural diversity.

Windermere Town Council and Lakes Hospitality Association previously donated £1000 to the polytunnel with an additional £700 raised by past crowdfunding.

The top-of-the-range polytunnel has enabled the farm to produce much more nutritionally fresh produce and massively increased the growing season.

The farm is in talks to involve local schools and the NHS in the initiative and also hopes to create a local composting scheme which will reduce food miles.

If you would like to get involved, please e-mail Tim at

If you would like to donate to the pond project and seeds, please visit the Crowd Funding page.