- Who does the growing?
It is mainly members who do the growing either as workshare or volunteer members. Cropshare members who pay for a weekly cropshare, do not have to do any work at all. (But are welcome to contribute if they want to!) Workshare members do about 4 hours a week or 180 hours over a year in exchange for a small cropshare of veg. Volunteer members just come and do some gardening when they want to, they do not get a cropshare of veg, but they can help themselves to a bit of veg when they are on site. We are also able to employ contract farmers at busy times of the year. The more members who commit to paying for a weekly cropshare, the more hours we will be able to employ contract farmers.
2. How do I get my share of the crop?
Cropshare and workshare members will be expected to pick up their cropshare veg weekly from the field near Burnopfield on Fridays from 3pm and on Saturdays between 9.30 and 12. If you can’t get to the field we can link you up to a member who lives near you, so you can arrange to pick it up from them.
3. How much is a share of the crop?
The cropshare is a small veg bag enough for a 2 person household. This is our first year of offering a weekly cropshare, so we have decided to start with a small bag. Most of the time there will be additional veg available (that we plan to sell in Gibside, at farmers markets and wholesale to other veg box schemes). Therefore members will be able to buy more veg each week if the cropshare bag is too small for your needs.
4. What if I don’t like all the veg in the cropshare?
There will be a swap box available to put veg you don’t like and swap it with something that you do like.
5. I am interested in being a workshare, but don’t know much about growing, is this ok?
Absolutely! anyone is welcome to come along and learn from the other members. We will provide support and advice on what to do. We are all learning as we go along.
6. When can I do the hours as a workshare?
We work on the field and garden most Fridays throughout the year, usually from about 10.30/11 am to 3 or 4 or 5pm (depending on the season and how much there is to do). In the summer we also work on Mondays for about the same hours. When you sign up to be a workshare we can discuss with you the best time for you to come. We hope we will get a group of people who would like to work weekends as well.
7. What does a volunteer member mean?
Volunteer members want to support Gibside Community Farm but they don’t want a weekly share of the crop. They like to help out by growing, selling at farmer’s markets or lots of other things that help to make the co-op work and take a little veg every now and then.
8. How can I suggest new crops to be grown?
If there is a crop or a variety that you would like GCF to grow, contact us via the email or come to a growers group meeting to make your suggestions. We are very interested in new ideas.
9. How do I know what to do?
When you join, you will be asked to meet a member who will show you the garden and field and discuss with you how you can join in. There is a folder on the plots, which provides a task list for each week. We also ask members to record what they have done, and how many hours they have contributed so the next member who comes can see what has been done.