We started Organic Veg Club after a public meeting in Burscough in November 2013 and we signed our constitution and appointed our officers in February 2014, with our first crop of broad beans and lettuce being planted in the same month.
The first growing season was the start of our learning process for growing veg on a large scale.. We had some crop failures but a great many more successes, it was a brilliant growing season to get us off to a good start.
However, the best thing we have grown is a small community of amazing people who come from very different backgrounds, but who share a common purpose of wanting to be involved with the production of their own food.
We now want to grow this community (initially 40 members in 2014) into a much larger one. We want to give people the opportunity to get out into the country and run their hands through to wonderful black and peaty West Lancashire soil that grows their food. We also want to show them how organic growing techniques and Permaculture can preserve and nurture that soil for future generations.
Some members choose not to be so 'hands on' and they are just happy to be members, take a share of the produce or be involved in the social scene which is developing. They get to understand the care, trials and tribulations that goes into growing their food via the frequent email newsletters that record our progress.
What is a 'CSA'?
If you would rather watch a video than read the next section, the video below shows a CSA that is running down in Devonshire. It illustrates a lot of the concepts of what a CSA is about and what we would like to achieve with our CSA.
The Organic Veg Club is planned to be run on the principles of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). There are many forms of CSA across the world but the basic principle of a CSA is that the customer contributes to the ‘costs’ of growing the food and, in turn, takes a share of the harvest. Costs will consist of money for seed and materials, but they will also include labour for both planting and harvesting. (Normally a farmer takes on all these costs himself and the associated risk in the hope that he will make a profit when he eventually harvests the crop) However, for a CSA the ‘share’ of the crop can be paid for in money and/or labour depending how the scheme has been designed. The range of foods grown, the size of the share and it’s cost depends on how many people want to subscribe and how much they want to be involved.
Please watch the video on this page about 'Chagfood' and you will get a real sense of what we are proposing.
In the UK the Soil Association has done a lot to promote the concept of CSA’s and there is plenty of information and resources on the Soil Association website here.