5 reasons to join our CSA veg box scheme
We’re so used to supermarket-style arrangements when it comes to buying veg. Even big-name organic veg box subscriptions that deliver to Cornwall can operate this way. You put an order in one week, change a few bits the next, maybe miss a few – and your food comes from everywhere.
You can see why it happens – we are all so busy now. That’s why we want to make sure you understand what you’re getting when you join our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) veg box scheme.
We’re just into our winter CSA season now but we’ve opened for bookings for shares in next year’s harvest. We’re shifting to one 40-week season from May 2021 to February 2022 – less admin for everyone. You’ll be taking a full journey with us here in the Falmouth area, from spicy springtime salads to winter squashes with benefits that go well beyond what’s in the box. Here are a few things you get from joining us.
1. You come first
We don’t take it lightly when someone decides to join our CSA veg box scheme. You’re choosing to share in our harvest to throw in your lot with ours. So we heartily welcome you as part of our community and give you priority. That means that although our veg continues to be available in a limited number of local shops, our CSA members get the very best pickings of the harvest. If we try something new (and we always are!), you’ll be the first to taste it.
You’ll also be the first to be invited to book for future seasons and to come to our community events, farm tours, volunteer days and feasts. Granted, face to face opportunities have been thin on the ground this year with the pandemic, though we still managed to have small group members’ tours by appointment as well as volunteer days. We’re going to keep exploring what we can do to keep bringing you into the fields with us (we’ve now expanded to two locations!), even if it’s online, we’ll always put members before anyone else.
2. Your food is SUPER fresh
People often ask us whether the varieties we’re growing are unusual. Some of them are but mostly that alive flavour you’re being hit with is just how a carrot or lettuce is actually supposed to taste.
Food bought from big organic veg box schemes, let alone supermarkets, often aren’t that fresh. They’ve already spent potentially weeks in storage. By the time they get to your plate, they just don’t taste the way they should. Taste is an indicator of nutritional value when it comes to vegetables. When they’re not that tasty, they’re also not that nutrient dense. A lot is lost in-transit.
By choosing food that is hyperlocal to the Falmouth area of Cornwall, you’re not only eating the best that nature can give you but you’re also eating with the seasons. Seasonal eating puts you in touch with what’s happening in the world around you so you can start to understand the relationship between the time of year and what you put into your body.
3. You get more variety
Granted there will come certain points in the season where we’ll need to collectively get creative about what to do with all that kale. We have ideas but so do you and that’s where our CSA member Facebook group comes into its own.
But we do make the effort to grow a wide variety of produce, partly because monoculture doesn’t fit with the way we’re farming – it’s a drain on the soil. Different things grow at different parts of the season and with each other at different times. So buying hyperlocal may encourage you at times to get experimental in the kitchen and learn about new vegetables. At the same time, the CSA box decides what your ingredients for the week are, freeing up headspace and encouraging you to eat the food your body is seasonally asking for.
4. You’re connected to where your food comes from
Yes you’re reducing your food miles but you’re also getting to know your farmers. CSA members can always pop us a message to ask questions and offer suggestions. We also have a CSA members group on Facebook where we share recipe ideas and share some of what’s happening in the field.
By connecting with us this way, you’re supporting small farming and partnering with us as part of the solution to environmental devastation. We are committed to practices that capture and store carbon, and to encouraging biodiversity. The future is small when it comes to food production.
5. You’re feeding others
We run our CSA veg box scheme on a sliding scale which means that paid boxes help to fund memberships for people experiencing food poverty. They share in the harvest as well as getting all the benefits of paid members.
This year saw us radically re-route the farm’s model from heavy on the restaurants and relatively light on the CSA veg boxes. Though we’d intended from the outset for the CSA side of things to grow, we thought we’d dip our toes in, especially as our main grower had only just left his desk job to crank up the volume in the field.
But 2020 had other plans and the pandemic made it clear that feeding households in the Falmouth area of Cornwall needed to become our mainstay. And we’re grateful that that’s happened. We continue to love working with chefs but the soil-to-plate connection with people in our community has made growing so much more fulfilling than we’d hoped.