We are downsizing and it's my purpose in this post to explain why. But first, if you're a customer, you'll have received this email:
We at Llangybi Organics regret that we are unable to maintain production for the next season at its present level. Mur Crusto (Val and Bry) hopes to continue with a bag every 2 weeks from mid-August to the following Spring (2011) but growing a reduced range for a much reduced number of people. We will give priority to those who can help us now and then. The bag would not include potatoes, onions or squash but Ty'n Lon (Jill and Mike) are happy to consider growing these items if there is interest. To enable us all to plan for the next season, please choose one or more of the following options:
A. Join Ty'n Lon's potato etc co-op but this will involve coming to help on harvesting day.B. Fortnightly bag from Mur Crusto and offering help now and then.C. Fortnightly bag from Mur Crusto but unable to offer help.D. Leave the scheme altogether.
Please note that we are continuing as normal at the moment and expect to continue until at least the end of March although, as always, this is weather-dependent. Some crops have been lost due to the exceptionally cold weather and so we will increase the amount of potatoes and carrots to compensate for the lack of variety.
We would like to thank you all for your support over the years and look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Helpers Obviously those who can offer help now and then -- Option B -- will want to know how this will work out. What does that loaded phrase 'now and then' mean? Well Val and I don't know either at this stage so if you do choose Option B, we hope we can arrange for a get-together at Mur Crusto of all of you who are interested. We have ideas to suggest and will welcome yours too. The emphasis will be on flexibility and you will, of course, want to know what's in it for you.
Why we are downsizing None of us is getting any younger and we are finding the commitment and work of growing and harvesting for over 30 customers more than we want to continue doing. The polytunnels make things easier but the outside work is often quite unpleasant in freezing and wet weather. We have little in the way of mechanisation so most tasks have to be done - as they always have been since the dawn of agriculture - by hand. So Jill, Mike, Val and I have jointly taken the decision to downsize drastically. It remains to be seen how the new arrangements will work out. That's now down to you, dear customers. We await your responses. Once we know how many of you do want to continue in some fashion, we can begin to see how it might all work.