The Garlic Farm have collaborated with local food and drink producers, creatives, ecologists and other passionate members of the community to launch a not-for-profit community interest company behind the launch of a new digital platform to showcase the Isle of Wight.

The short video and text below describes some of the themes that brought the project to life…

What is a Biosphere Reserve?

We live and farm in a Biosphere Reserve; UNESCO awarded this status to the Isle of Wight in 2019. This global recognition is really something special for such a small island, we are one of only seven locations in the UK with this designation. But what does it mean? It’s a formal acknowledgement by the United Nations (yes, them!) that the people who live here do so in harmony. Biosphere Reserves are places where people are collaborating and experimenting to live with each other, and their environment in the most respectful and restorative way they can. Biosphere Reserves are not just places with beautiful wildlife, but places where people are learning together to create sustainable and resilient conditions for future generations.

It sounds good, because it is good. This balance and combination of social as well as environmental consideration is essential for a healthy future, and it’s great that UNESCO have a way of encouraging this. It’s equally great that the Isle of Wight has been chosen to support this way of life.

Connected Wight Launch

What is ConnectedWight?

ConnectedWight is a website to celebrate the Isle of Wight. Those who live, work and play here on this Island are fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful land and coast, with unique wildlife. Telling the stories of how the people here are interacting with each other and with their natural and cultural environment is helpful. The hope is to encourage positive impact within villages and towns as well as the countryside and seas. The hope is learn from negative impact, and to remain connected and empowered to implement useful decisions together. By sharing these local insights and experiments, the website hopes to reach the mainland, and even global audience, to share and encourage the activities and aspirations of this Biosphere Reserve.

Connected Wight People

 What is a B Corp?

 Companies that have been verified by B Lab to meet high standards of social and environmental performance become B Corp Certified. This is a stringent, audited process. It is also a positive and connected community, championing business as a force for good. Transforming the global economy to actively benefit all people and the planet is a big ask. But this is the central question that the B Corp movement is asking. How can we do things better, together?

Connected Wight IOW Logo

What does this all mean for The Garlic Farm?

Our farm is B Crop certified; it is based within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and we are co-founders of ConnectedWight. The connection between these things is natural. And being naturally connected feels like a useful way to be. The Isle of Wight was awarded Biosphere Reserve status in 2019. By this stage we (The Garlic Farm) were well underway with our own journey of impact measurement for B Corp. It was also the year in which we co-founded the independent, not-for-profit community interest company that eventually developed ConnectedWight. Lots of volunteer hours from the farm team have gone into the latter, and one of the farm’s directors volunteers for the Biosphere Steering Committee. We’re really pleased to be contributing to these initiatives and feel inspired by the goodwill within the communities that are learning from each other about ways to make positive changes.

What does this mean for you?

We can’t really answer that, hopefully some of the ideas within the projects and process here have sparked some thoughts and further investigation for you. What we can encourage is for you to stay tuned to our work on these things by signing up both to our mailing list, and also ConnectedWight.