Each year we grow over 15 tonnes of delicious organic fruit and vegetables, and these are available to the local community through our Vegetable Bag (Crop Share) scheme.
We have just one share size which suits a household of approximately 1-3 adults or children – depending on how many vegetables you eat!
We produce around 37 bags per year, weekly during late spring, summer and autumn, less frequently in early spring, and with no produce in December and January.
It’s a ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ (CSA) scheme. This means that more than signing up for a weekly vegetable bag, you are signing up to a share of our produce over a 12-month period. Essentially, you’re buying one of up to 100 shares of our produce that we offer each year.
As well as underwriting our growing operation, our crop sharers are key supporters of our charitable work with our volunteers, supporting them to recover through activity in the field and in our kitchen.
We have just updated our Crop Share payment scheme to a simple monthly direct debit payment of £40 a month. This helps Growing Well reduce administration, and reflects the annual support a crop sharer gives us. (Last year the total retail value of one crop share was £450. At the height of summer your crop share bags could contain organic produce worth more than £60)
The Growing Well Crop Share is an amazing and innovative scheme, with great food and a strong sense of community. We hold work days, Harvest festival events and other activities. Most of our Crop Share holders stay with us for years and feel part of Growing Well, and those that do leave often join us as Friends instead, so they can stay part of our community.
Before signing up, it’s important that you understand the difference between our scheme and others.
1. We only sell food that we grow on our site at Low Sizergh Farm.
However, it also means that it’s seasonal. It’s a windy hill in Cumbria, that isn’t going to be producing tomatoes in December. Click ‘What’s in the Bag’ to see what a ‘typical’ bag will look like through the year.
2. It’s organic.
However, it also means that we sometimes have rabbits and other pests that can decimate crops overnight. This results in a vegetable bag that is sometimes a surprise!
3.Your garden will (probably) look like our garden.
However, we don’t have heated polytunnels, and the soil is still Cumbrian. If you’re a keen gardener, you’re likely to be growing similar vegetables to us, at a similar time. Most of our produce is harvested between July and November, with fewer bags outside of this time. So, if you do grow at home, you might find that our Crop Share means that you’re overwhelmed in the summer months and it may not work for you and your family.
4. You need to collect.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: MARCH 26
We have new limited Thursday 4-5.30pm collection arrangements in place.
5. It’s an annual commitment
However, to get the full value of your share, you need to stay for a full year. This is a commitment that you need to be aware of before signing up. If you do need to leave within the year, we would expect you to find someone to take over your share commitment.
6. Crop Share prices.At Growing Well we compare wholesale, retail and farm gate prices for organic produce to help us work out what to charge. We provide good quality organic produce, the price of which is based on what other organic producers are charging, along with information provided by the Soil Association.
Our new £40 per month payment by direct debit has been introduced to provide a simpler annual system for current Crop Sharers, and to make our scheme easier to administer, promote and explain.
It’s based on last year’s total Crop Share value of more than £450, and builds in a small round up to £40 to reflect members’ wish to support our charitable work.
Every year we will review prices based on the anticipated value and feedback from our annual survey of Crop Sharers.
Ready to join our Crop Share scheme?
If you like the sound of our scheme please call us on 07903 013648 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payments are made via our new direct debit system. You will receive an email link to fill in the Direct Debit Mandate online.
We will let you know when your first bag will be ready for collection. Click the links below to see the contents of past bags and to read the Crop Share handbook which contains our usual collection information and how it is currently modified for Covid-19 precautions.