As some of you will know I was fortunate enough to be asked to go to Turin last week to attend the Terra Madre Slow Food Festival. This was an incredible event and since returning I have been feeling very inspired and also ready to have a real reality check.
As we have come to the end of the summer season, there has been a drop in the number of people coming to The Real Food Shop, so we will be moving on to our winter timetable from the week of Monday October 15th.
In addition to this we have decided to conclude the vegetable and fruit boxes for the season. We understand that a lot of our customers will be disappointed by this however it was never the intention of Woodside Arran to focus on being grocers, rather our long term goal is to be growers.
The complicated nature of how the box scheme was set up was deliberately in order to make it as accessible for as many people as possible however I did that classic overenthusiastic person thing and never took myself into account! The system may be very inclusive for people starting to get involved in local food but it is very labour intensive and not very efficient for myself as the grower, meaning I have spent more time administrating the system than actually going out into the market garden and growing the vegetables needed as produce. Not a very sustainable model from someone who's promoting sustainable farming!
It has also been interesting to collate the last 18 months of feedback from everyone and despite my own keenness on organics it would appear that "local food" is more of a priority for the people of Arran. For some the idea of organic can in fact be off-putting as they associate it with high prices, despite us doing our best to keep prices affordable.
Moving in to 2019, we will still be offering CSA boxes (grown organically) however in a much more traditional manner. The boxes will be available for a set number of weeks each year and will be primarily filled with local food, reducing bought-in produce. The CSA program will start in spring 2019 and there will be a discount for those who have already been members and have supported us so generously so far.
For those who this system does not work for we now have the mobile and online shop for them to access. On that note, as we do not want to leave members with no fresh produce until the season restarts in the spring we will still be offering the online shop home delivery option to members. We will happily deliver to members home (instead of a pick-up like non members must arrange) which will still be on a Thursday, so please just choose the members home delivery option from the down tab. This should all be clear on the "Shop" tab linked above but if you are struggling please do not hesitate to get in touch and we can help out.
We will also be offering our Christmas boxes again this year, just before the holidays, so we will be in touch about that again nearer the time.
In summary: there will be two more delivery weeks with the last delivery being on Thursday the 11th of October. We can not thank everyone enough for your support so far and I deeply hope that we will see you again either with an online order, at the Real Food Shop or in the spring when we return with the new and improved CSA veg box service.