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The Kitchen Garden People

Emma, Christine and Dan, of The Kitchen Garden People, run the Honeydale Kitchen Garden. This is a Community Supported Agriculture Scheme (CSA), helping to revolutionise the way that food reaches consumers.

‘CSA’s are a way of being able to supply vegetables and other fresh produce to local people, eliminating waste and unnecessary packaging; it’s a partnership between farmers and the local community in which the risks and rewards of the whole process are shared,’ explains Emma.

The CSA scheme is extremely practical. People receive seasonal food throughout the year, with whatever is produced each week divided up so that everyone gets an equal share. All this for £27 a month.

‘It does require a change in mindset,’ Emma explains, ‘because some weeks you get more that you are paying for that week, and others you get less, but all our subscribers saved over £200* this past year so it really is a win-win.

A weekly email is sent to members telling them what to expect in their Veg Box to be distributed on the Friday, and there’s lots of variety. There are also salads all year round thanks to the polytunnels.’

The Food is incredibly healthy, and because it is not grown for shelf life, it can be picked at just the right time and harvested and sold on the same day, resulting in far better nutritional value. Also there are no pesticides used, so it allows for the reintroduction of different varieties (a century ago there were 288 different beetroots but now there are only 17; due to the demands of supermarket shelf lives, lettuce varieties have plummeted from 497 to 36).

The Kitchen Garden People began in 2016 with the Chadlington Kitchen Garden. Here Emma, Christine and Dan spent over a year growing and selling on an ad hoc basis with just a 1/5th of an acre. The plot is not much bigger than an allotment, but was soon providing for 30 subscribers. The Honeydale Kitchen Garden was established in 2018, with a 1.5 acre fieldscale site and large polytunnel. Here it’s been possible to grow salads, veg, and fruit, including kale, rainbow chard, flower sprouts, squash, carrots, leeks, onions, french beans, garlic, parsley, coriander, mustard, chillies, peppers, strawberries, rhubarb, and many different varieties of lettuce.

Anyone interested in subscribing should contact Emma on thekitchengardenpeople@gmail.com

* when compared to the cost of similar organic fare