The proposed community market garden will provide locally and naturally grown (chemical free) fruit and vegetable crop shares to 200+ households, and a daily outdoor and food growing experience to the community of South Wye and all of Herefordshire.
The Community Market Garden will:
- Provide locally and naturally grown (chemical-free) food
- Offer opportunities for education, work and recreation to the wider community
- Include and support people who are socially or economically marginalised
- Build community life through creating a relationship with food and its production
The market garden will contain:
- Up to seven acres of land for growing crops using agro-ecological methods
- Polytunnels for covered crops and propagation
- Easy access for wheelchairs, bicycles, pedestrians and families
- A heritage orchard
- A packing shed for storing and packing produce
- A machinery shed and tool shed
- A volunteer area with a small kitchen and an office area for the grower
- Compost toilets
The CSA Model and Crops Shares
The garden will grow fruit and vegetables for the local community and will be established following the principles of a Community Supported Agriculture enterprise (a ‘CSA’, https://communitysupportedagriculture.org.uk). A Community Supported Agriculture scheme is a partnership between the grower and the consumer where responsibilities, risks and rewards are shared. The objective is to empower the community to have control of their food supply and to be actively involved in the growing whilst a professional grower ensures the regular weekly supply of fruit and vegetables for the membership.
Families and individuals will be able to purchase the produce through crop shares that will come as a weekly box/bag of fruit and vegetables. Crop shareholders will be asked to understand the nature of local seasonal food and the risk of crop failure. As a Community Supported Agriculture Scheme the consumer shares the risks and rewards with the grower and so seasonal variations will be part of the contract.
There will be two sizes of crop shares, a standard crop share and a large crop share. Fortnightly crop shares will be available for half the price. A four week trial crop share will be offered prior to any long term commitment. A crop share cannot be cancelled if members are away, they can give their share to a friend or any share not taken up will go to a low income household. 10% of crop shares will be offered at a 20% discount for families on universal credit. A ‘spares box’ will allow people to swap veg if there is anything they do not like in their share. A regular cost analysis will take place to assess the value of the crop shares against supermarkets and other retail outlets. The shares will pay for the cost of the grower/s, the cost of cultivation and regular volunteer costs.
Community Market Garden membership will also be available to those who do not wish to sign up for a crop share. It will be a community run scheme with member input through regular consultations, volunteering and social events. There will be weekly volunteer days for members who wish to participate in growing, and family days and events throughout the year.