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Crop Share Frequently Asked Questions

How and where do I collect?

Our shares are ready for collection from Low Sizergh Farm on Thursdays each Crop Share week from 4pm.

You can collect your share from our ‘chiller’ (a big fridge) anytime from then until the following Tuesday 9am. Any vegetables left over on a Tuesday morning will be distributed to our volunteers.

Please try to collect between the hours of 8am and 6pm (this is so as not to disturb the Park family at home). The back entrance to Low Sizergh Farm is never closed, only the front gate.

Shares are left in our chiller (a big fridge) in our packing area. Our packing area is in the Low Sizergh Farm cow shed facing the main road. The doors are directly opposite the Low Sizergh Barn sign hanging on the main road. The doors to our packing area slide open to the side (be careful as they are heavy).

Once inside, our white chiller is facing you. Instructions for where you can find your share will be on the door of the chiller. Shares are not named, so simply collect your share. They are in jute bags on the chiller-shelves to the left.

Your shares are put into these jute bags for you to access but please don’t take them away with you. Bring another bag/box to put your share into in the packing area.

When can I collect?

You can collect your share from our ‘chiller’ anytime from Thursday 4pm until the following Wednesday 9am. Any vegetables left over on a Wednesday morning will be distributed to our volunteers.

Please try to collect between the hours of 8am and 6pm (this is so as not to disturb the Park family at home). The back entrance to Low Sizergh Farm is never closed, only the front gate on the A591 dual carriageway eastbound.

What happens if I don’t collect my Crop Share?

Any vegetables left over on a Wednesday morning will be distributed to our volunteers to take home.

Why can’t you deliver?

We consider this regularly but always find it would not be cost effective to offer a professional delivery service while we have so many members who are happy to collect from the farm. It would reduce the amount of Crop Share income going to fund our charity.

How often are the Crop Shares?

In the winter months we can’t provide weekly bags, so we let you know via email when the bags will be available. We commit to a minimum of 37 bags a year and aspire to a regular pattern of every three weeks, sometimes four from Jan-March, fortnightly bags from April-May and weekly bags June to December. We let you know via email where there are changes to that pattern.

How much does it cost and how do I pay?

We ask for an annual commitment £510 to the Crop Share. This is paid for via a Direct Debit membership subscription of £42.50 per month for 12 months, taken on the 10th of the month.

Crop Shares are more frequent and the produce more abundant in the summer months but the Crop Share is paid at £42.50 per month as it keeps the offer simple, reduces administration, and reflects an ongoing commitment to support Growing Well as a charity, underwriting our growing operation that is the foundation of our work with our volunteers.

After you sign up, you will be sent a link to our GoCardless system which manages our Direct Debits. We don’t hold any of your card details at Growing Well.

Membership and your direct debits will continue automatically each year unless you choose to cancel.

What’s the value of the Crop Share?

The £510 a year annual cost reflects our target annual retail value of £490 to £530 a year and is set to give a simple monthly payment of £42.50.

We can’t guarantee exactly how the growing year will pan out – if you receive more value than you paid, then we will have had an abundant year for you to enjoy! If we missed our target slightly it means we have had a difficult growing year and this is why we need to count on your long-term support to our charity.

There is no additional charitable donation built into your cost. When you are paying £42.50 a month in the leaner months of January and February, this is offset by bags worth £60 or more a month in the high summer.

We review the price of our membership and the value of the previous year’s crop on an annual basis.

Does my Crop Share membership include a donation element?

No. But you are helping Growing Well maximise and secure its farm income to the benefit of the charity by committing to buy a share of our annual crop. We then know we have 100+ guaranteed customers rather than having the insecurity, uncertainty and loss of margin of selling retail.

Many Crop Sharers support Growing Well further by buying our chutneys, pickles, jams and plants, making additional or monthly donations, and supporting fundraising events such as our Cross Bay walk.

Can Crop Sharers collect for each other?

Yes! We have a number of groups of neighbours or near neighbours who arrange their own group collection rota. We do not manage these ourselves but can let new Crop Sharers know of any local groups and put you in touch.

Will all of my Crop Share be grown at Growing Well?

Over 95% of our produce is grown on the farm ensuring the produce is at its freshest and has been directly grown by our beneficiaries. We aim to make it always 100% but occasionally, in winter, due to the challenges of growing organically in Cumbria, we may top up the Growing Well veg with one or two items of organic veg grown by trusted partners such as Organic North, to maintain the value of your bag.

Do you offer different choices of vegetables?

To keep our scheme as simple and efficient as possible we offer one single size Crop Share. In response to feedback we do now offer some choice to Crop Sharers in the form of a “swap box”.

We will stock the swap box in the chiller room with some of that week’s items and if you wish to swap something from your bag, you are welcome to leave it in the swap box in exchange for another item you prefer from there. This is simply on a first-come-first-served basis.

Through the year you will receive many new vegetables or varieties you may not have tried before. Most of our Crop Sharers say they enjoy the discovery of new produce and the challenge of incorporating it into their week’s meals.

Every Crop Share is accompanied by an email newsletter which will highlight any unusual items and often we will suggest how to cook it or provide a full recipe.

What happens when I’m away on holiday?

Crop sharers can have ‘holidays’ from two crop share bags a year. Unfortunately, we cannot offer a payment holiday.

If you’re going to be away for more time we suggest you offer your share to a neighbour or a friend – perhaps interesting them in joining the scheme at the same time! Alternatively, you can direct us to donate your crop share to volunteers that week.

In any case, if you do not need your Crop Share bag packing then please give us at least one week’s notice. We’ll then ensure that we don’t harvest more vegetables and pack more shares than we need.

What if I want to stop being a Crop Sharer?

We hope that you will be able to maintain your commitment to at least a full season of Crop Share – a full calendar year from when you joined – especially with ‘smoothed’ payment system of £42.50 per month.

To be direct – if a Crop Sharer joins at the start of the abundant summer and autumn months and then chooses to leave at the end of the year – our charity will be seriously out of pocket on the deal!

However, we do know that things happen, and it doesn’t suit everyone, so what we ask is that you agree to give one full month’s notice if you want to stop receiving the shares. We will collect your final payment and cancel your direct debit. If you cancel your direct debit yourself we may need to invoice you for a final payment.