These are strange and worrying times. Now that cracks are appearing in the wider system, people are turning to local producers and suppliers. We are just now entering the infamous Hungry Gap, which is the worst time of year to try to supply fresh produce - April and May - too much daylight and warmth for winter crops, but too early for summer crops. But our shop is very busy, and demand for veg boxes has increased threefold.
Most of our international WWOOF volunteers have gone back to their families, and the four that remain with us have been here for a while, so they know their stuff out on the farm, but four is still half of what we need to operate comfortably. Our three core members of staff have stayed well so far, and are committed to the cause, but are all exhausted already. Some of our local volunteers have stayed away, we have asked some of our vulnerable volunteers not to come in, but others have stepped up to take their place. We had a team of six out digging potatoes today, all two metres apart in the field and yard. What amazing people.
The restaurant trade is non-existant, but veg-box numbers are at 150 per week. We now have four volunteer drivers delivering on a Friday, three of them in their own vehicles. This is the worst time of year to attempt these numbers, and our resources are buckling under the strain, but the need is there and we will do our best to provide fresh local food to the local community. We are buying in other produce to supplement our own, and trying to buy as local and as organic as possible, but we may have to compromise soon. We have closed the veg box scheme to new customers because we simply can't cope with the numbers.
For people not able to come to the shop, or to join the veg-box scheme, we are running bespoke deliveries from the shop shelves, to within a 3-mile radius and minimum orders of £10. Please phone us on 788454 for this service, but be warned that we don't often have time to answer the phone.