2009 has been a good growing year. The soil has been warm enough and we've had sun and rain, mostly, in the right place at the right time.
So this year we didn't hang our heads in shame but celebrated with an open day. Our usual stroll around the fields, tea and cake (£50 raised for WaterAid), some very silly and dangerous games followed by the customary Harvest supper: feasting, chilling and chatting on what was again a perfect Indian summer eve.
A big thank you to everyone who made it out at what is a busy time of year for events. And a special thank you to the Chanctonbury Road drop-off for bringing more than their fair share of the food. Their consolation was that one of their lot won the prestigious 'Golden Marrow' in the hurling contest - yet again!
Defying all laws of physics, biology and health and safety was the Box-carrying contest--see photo below. Also shown is Spud Sack Racing.
Ashurst open days tend to be more private party than slick presentation but in truth we prefer it that way. It's key to our ethos of supporting the little and the local and keeping it real. We prefer not to think of our customers as 'consumers' but as scheme members and part of the farm. And we prefer to see ourselves not just as part of the organic 'market' but as part of the Community. So thanks as ever for being there!
ALL YOUR OWN WORK, REST AND PLAY
Well, almost. Summer got too buy to publish a newsletter to thank everyone for coming to the Hoe Down in May. A major success on all fronts. Whole beds of vegetables weeded in one go, followed by an evening of fun, food, wine and song. It's amazing what you can achieve when there's a lot of you.
BOXES WITH VEGETABLES IN THEM
This year we have veg! What we have less of.... is people to eat them. The last three bad growing years have prevented us from advertising too much for fear of nto being able to fill our boxes with our own home grown produce. Consequently, our shceme membership has fallen, made worse by the year's successful allotments and the current (very worthy) craze of growing your own.
So what we need right now, to keep the scheme and the business viable, is more scheme members.
We could put round flyers to convert non-box, supermarket-goers. And we are keen to make better use of the internet. But these things take time - the one thing we never seem to have. So in the meantime, if you are happy with your boxes and being part of the scheme, please do spread the word amongst your neighbours/friends. Recommendations and word-of-mouth are by far the most powerful means of persuasion when it comes to getting people to change their ways.
And veg-boxes aren't just products to choose from the shelf. They do require an alternative way of thinking, cooking, eating and shopping... such as being able to delight in, and be inspired by, what's in season. So, if you know anyone who is fed up with being labelled a mere 'consumer,' who would like to be part of the farm, then please prod them in our direction. And THANKS for your help.
BOXES AND HONEY JARS WITH NOTHING IN THEM
Please return for re-use, thanks.