This year is the end of Growing Local’s ﬁrst decade and it has presented both challenges and opportunities. Over the last ten years we have had a ball. Building a wonderful educational garden and ﬁeld kitchen at Court Farm Tillington, building our relationships with the local community and schools and building our relationship with growers and customers. The next ten years need to be equally as energetic and innovative as we play our part in developing a more sustainable food network that helps our communities meet the challenges of climate change.
As many of you know Court Farm, Tillington, the home of our educational garden, closed its Pick Your Own and Farm Shop in the autumn of 2018. Together with other small producers in the county closing, this has led to some diﬃculty in accessing the very best summer fruit and vegetables for Growing Local, leading us to have a major rethink as to how to move forward over the next few years.
As a result, we have decided to hand over the Veg Bag Scheme to our main grower and supplier, John Davenport of Little Marcle Farm Shop. After ten years of running the scheme Pat feels it is the right time to retire from this part of her work, so that she can devote her energies to the medium and longer term changes and challenges involving the relocation of the garden and ﬁeld kitchen and bringing the provenance of our fruit and vegetables closer to our community.
The Growing Local Veg Bag Scheme will therefore be taken over by John Davenport of Little Marcle Farm Shop on Thursday 1st August 2019.
We hope that our customers will hardly notice the diﬀerence as we move to John’s fully organic scheme. John and Pat are working hard to streamline the Veg Box oﬀer to make the change over as smooth for our customers as possible.
John has over thirty years’ experience of growing organic vegetables on his thirty-acre farm just outside Ledbury. He is now our main grower supplying the Growing Local Veg Bags with wonderful tomatoes, aubergines, broad beans, salads, chard, kale, cucumbers, cabbage, potatoes, squashes, courgettes and much more. Over the last three years he has built up his own organic Veg Box Scheme delivering to about one hundred customers in the Ledbury, Ross and Malvern areas.
Veg Box Schemes run on very tight margins and with rising prices and the pressure on small growers the best way to make schemes proﬁtable and thus sustainable is to ‘grow your own’. John does this brilliantly and is also a leading ﬁgure locally ‘in all things green’. He leads by example, running an electric van to deliver his veg boxes as carbon lightly as possible. Handing over to John allows a more sustainable and greener service.
Growing Local sees this as an opportunity for everyone. It is an opportunity for a local organic vegetable grower to grow stronger. An opportunity for our customers to receive fully organic produce from a much greener delivery service. And an opportunity for Growing Local to focus our energies on a new community-based garden and enlarged educational programme of family, community and schools’ workshops. It is also our aspiration to establish a new food education centre for the county.
Communication will be key during the transfer period. Following this letter is a list of Q&A for you to read through. If your questions or concerns are not answered, then please do email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Pat on 07813 622890.
John Davenport will be contacting you directly in the next 2 to 3 weeks by email. Please let us know immediately if you do NOT wish to receive email communications from John, Little Marcle Farm Shop.
Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderful support over the ten years, we could not have got where we are today without you. Here’s to another ten years of Growing Local!
Pat, Louisa, Heather and Rachel (Directors of Growing Local is Going Local CIC)
The Nitty Gritty
1. Will I automatically change to the new scheme? Yes, unless you let us know otherwise.
2. Will I still be in the delivery area? There are a few customers that may be outside the range of John’s electric van delivery. John will write to / phone individual customers who may be affected to explore alternative delivery arrangements.
3. When is the change happening? The last delivery from Growing Local will be on Thursday 25th July.
4. When is the first delivery from Little Marcle Farm Shop? The first delivery from John will be FRIDAY 2nd August.
5. Will my standard delivery continue in August? Yes, unless you tell John otherwise.
6. When will John, Little Marcle Farm Shop, contact me? John Davenport will be contacting you directly in the next two to three weeks by email. Please let us know immediately if you do NOT wish to receive email communications from John, Little Marcle Farm Shop.
John’s contact details are email@example.com, Tel: 07970296153
7. Will my Veg Bag be the same? The veg will be delivered in a box, not a bag. Many of the veg that you have received over the last five years have been supplied by John. All produce delivered by John will be ORGANIC. The size and price of Little Marcle Farm Shop Veg Boxes will the same/very similar to Growing Local’s current offer.
Please see Little Marcle Farm Shop website http://littlemarclefarmshop.co.uk/ for more information. John is currently updating his website which will go live by the end of July 2019.
8. Will I still be able to order additional items like eggs, juice and bread? Yes, to eggs and apple juice. John will deliver organic eggs and organic apple juice. Unfortunately, the bread will no longer be available to start with but may be available in the future.
Peter Cooks Bread stockists can be found at http://www.petercooksbread.co.uk/stockists/
Country Flavour egg stockists can be found at http://www.country-flavours.co.uk/localstockists.php
9. How do I communicate changes to my order (ie holidays) to John, Little Marcle Farm Shop? Contact John via his website, email or telephone:
10. How do I keep up to date with what’s happening at Little Marcle Farm Shop?Follow John on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/john.davenport.35380399
11. How do I pay Little Marcle Farm Shop? John (Little Marcle Farm Shop) does not operate an invoicing system. Customers pay weekly via BACs, standing order, cheque, cash or online via the website (when the new website goes live at the end of July 2019).
12. How will I settle my final bill with Growing Local? Your last invoice and closing statement from Growing local will be delivered to your inbox on Monday 29th July. Growing Local expects all outstanding balances to be paid by Friday 9th August.
13. What do I do with my last Growing Local empty veg bag? Please keep returning the empty veg bags up until the final delivery. Customers in receipt of delivery on 25th July please keep your empty Veg Bag.
14. How do I keep in touch with Growing Local? As of the beginning of June we have subscribed you to our new online newsletter (you are able to unsubscribe at any time). We will also maintain our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social medias.