So, we set out towards the beginning of the year, trying to figure out how to get this started.
Given our work status, we decided the only way was to run a micro-csa for a year and then, while it was running, figure out how to scale that enough that one of us could go full time next year. We advertised for pilot members to join , offering the opportunity to help us get started, give us some feedback, get involved in social media promotions, and generally be among our early adopters.
Covid had other ideas. While it gave two of the team members a lot of time they hadn't been expecting to work on the project, it also made us feel a little uncomfortable about limiting the opportunity to six people, in this weird new world where people were actually beginning to talk about local food and food resilience, like we weren't actually bonkers at all.
The result is that with a cry of 'Fortune Favours the Brave, right?!' we have extended the opportunity to regular members (our pilot members remain our pilot members) and set a schedule for me (Jackie) to leave my full time job gradually over a number of months. Meanwhile, current members have got to know Sasha, who is running pretty much the whole show on an operational level at the moment.
The impact on the boxes is that there will be more wholesaling than we'd originally planned, but we will strive to get as much home grown produce going in as we can. The crops now coming to fruition were planted either in winter (for a family of four) or in early spring (for a potential six members) so rely on heavy supplementation. We're now planting for bigger numbers.
We're at the application stage with the Soil Association for organic certification. Like so many things, this has been impacted by Covid 19. I'm not sure when inspections may be taking place.
We are, however, fully registered as a Community Interest Company (Chestnuts Farm CSA CIC).
Our application to the Calor Rural Communities fund involved us in a competitive bid process which entailed creating a Crowdfunder. That's still open and we'd still be grateful if you have time to go to the Calor site and like or share it from its own page. One way to help us reach our goal is for new or indeed existing members to pay for their forthcoming boxes by choosing them as a 'reward'.
We're so grateful to our pilot members for supporting us this far, and really happy to see new members joining all the time. There are still some spaces for regular members at the time of writing.
|the first ever boxes|