Thanks to all those who were able to come to our first ever Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group meeting. I (Bry) don't much like meetings but this one was a good one. There was a lot of laughing and we enjoyed tea and cake as we sketched out a preliminary idea of how it would all work.
Who was there? Val, Bry (from Mur Crusto farm, where the meeting was held), Mike and Jill (from Ty'n Lon farm, with whom we have an informal co-operative partnership to grow all the veg and fruit for the boxes and bags), Arabella (who has kindly agreed to be the Group co-ordinator), Mayumi (and her son, Carwyn), and Mark (from the Shrimala Trust). All (except Bry) are depicted in the rather poor photo I took of the gathering. Left to right: Mark, Mayumi, Carwyn, Arabella, Mike, Jill, Val. Two other potential group members weren't able to come that day: Rosemary and Christine. There may be others too and, of course, anyone can join at any time. There is no minimum time commitment.
What did we agree? As with all 'proper' meetings, we ended up with some Action Points:
- Bry to arrange an online calendar so that we can all find out what's happening when. This will be a Google calendar via OneClimate.net's Llangybi Organics group page. I'll let you know when it's all set up. You'll need to join OneClimate.net but it's free and all you need is an email address. It's a social networking site (like Facebook) but for doing something about climate change
- Val to organise a 'phone tree', whatever that is. Something to do with last minute contacting of everyone in case an event has to be altered or cancelled because of bad weather. Or the reverse, if the weather is unexpectedly good (it happens...)
- Nominal group help days will be Tuesdays for Mur Crusto and Thursdays for Ty'n Lon, and Sundays when convenient. This doesn't mean we expect group members to turn up every week; merely when we request help with some major piece of work which has to be done. Examples are potato picking, planting out leeks or onion sets, weeding carrots - that sort of thing where many hands make light work
- What's in it for group members? It's FUN we like to think, working together to get a task done in a pleasant environment (each farm, I mean). There's a good deal of amusing chat which can be in any language but usually English, Welsh and - sometimes - Spanish. And there's more: the opportunity for each member to take home such veg or fruit (e.g. raspberries from Mur Crusto) as happens to be available in the amount she or he needs as 'payment' for the work. We'll let you know what's available so if you wish, you can come and get stuff even if you're not working. We will also try and grow the things you specially like. Arabella wants peas and Mark wants artichokes. We are going to do both but you have to come and help yourselves!
And the first event? Polytunnel-raising; provisionally 22 March: Mike and Jill have bought a second-hand polytunnel. Putting up these structures isn't difficult though it is time-consuming. Once done, the really tricky thing is to get the polythene cover on. This is where they need as many people as possible to help unroll it, pull it over the frame and hang on to it while it tries to behave like a paraglider or hot air balloon whilst the whole thing is fixed tightly. The event will be at Ty'n Lon farm starting 10.30 for 11 am but does depend on there being light winds and fairly warm weather. This is where email contact, this news page, the OneClimate calendar and the phone tree will come in useful.
We, from both farms, are delighted to have this new source of support which will enable us to keep growing and keep going... if it all works. You can post anything you want on the OneClimate group pages, including photos. I propose to start a Google photo album for photos anyone takes of our various activities. We look forward to the polytunnel-raising First Event at which there will be unlimited supplies of cava, wine and beer. Actually, I just made that last bit up. Sorry!