New crops for the small grower

800px-University_of_Reading_logo.svgWe are delighted that Dr Johann Martinez-Lüscher has started as the LSA Charitable Trust Research Fellow, dividing his time between the University of Reading and East Malling Research, in a three-year programme co-sponsored by the three organisations.

EMR logoThe LSA Charitable Trust has given support to horticultural research in the past, but this project is the most significant commitment the Trust has made to date.

Johann’s research is focused upon the exploration of new crops in a changing climate; crops that have the potential to provide the added value that will be of interest to the smaller grower. Johann has past research experience with grapes, and will be exploring stone-fruited and other crops.

Johann’s research profile can be found at


Growing Livelihoods

Our partnership with the Plunkett Foundation has taken an important step forward, together with the Carnegie UK Trust.

Growing-Livelihoods-Final-Colour-smallGrowing Livelihoods will work to create new opportunities in smaller-scale food growing for young people, those new to the sector or those seeking a new direction. We aim to help people through co-operation and innovation to create skilled jobs that provide viable livelihoods.  This project will have a particular focus on shortening food supply chains and the opportunities this could present.

The partnership builds on a history between the organisations that stretches back to 1934, and the development of the Land Settlement Association as a pioneering scheme that enabled thousands of people to achieve livelihoods as food growers which they would not have been able to achieve alone.

Access to the historical records of the LSA

We receive requests from time to time for literature and other information on the history of the Land Settlement Association. We are delighted that the records are not only safely housed at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL, which is hosted by the University of Reading, UK)Museum of English Rural Life, but have been catalogued, and several photographs and films digitised.

Enquiries are directed to MERL; the collection catalogue is available online.

New plan for the Trust

The Trustees of the LSA Charitable Trust have agreed a new strategy for funding from 2012. Alongside the ongoing commitment to former members and tenants of the Land Settlement Association in need, the Trust is keen to develop its interests in fostering small-scale production horticulture in a changing world. A plan has been agreed to develop longer-term partnerships.

As a consequence, the Trustees are no longer accepting applications for small grants (from October 2012).