What does every one know about how spuds are grown and how crop Desiccation occurs prior to harvesting in this modern age of Agriculture ? Long gone are the days of picking them up by hand behind the old potato digger on big farms. As ever Industrial Agriculture forged ahead in the chemical direction not thinking about nature, soil degredation or peoples health. The more the mechanisation, the more the compromises and chemical applications. Harvest Workers Co-op organic farm shop only sells Organic potatoes, all from Devon at this time and all really tasty varieties grown in soils teaming with life which attract so much wildlife to those farms.
Under intensive industrial methods, many potato crops are desiccated just before harvesting using weedkiller. How does anyone know if the potatoes have been sprayed or not on the supermarket shelves? they all look the same side by side. there’s no traceability or information on that. Other crops that are commonly desiccated around the globe in the same way are wheat, soya, oil seed rape, oats, peas, beans. The practice of Desiccation is prohibited under organic certification but as organic farmers know, chemicals are harmful to soil life which they depend on to build soil fertility. Here is a link to Wikepedia explaining Desiccation
We’ll be running more farm visits in the Autumn. If you are part of a community – maybe a residents association or a local group – and would like to visit a farm as your group then let us know we’d love to help!
Harvest Farm Shop is OPEN today – Saturday 3rd March – we will be closing a bit earlier at 4 though
We are trying very hard to be open however there has been a little too much snow at times! Liv and Henry opened for a short while on Thursday before having to get back to Winkliegh before the snow came in.
Martin and Sara walked down on Friday to open up. Here they are on their snowy walk in. They enjoyed chatting to all the Okey folk looking for good rooty vegetables for hearty soups. All our vegetable boxes were delivered.
Jo and Kevin opened up on Saturday as normal. Big thanks to Martyn Bragg for doing a special tractor delivery of the Shillingford Organics vegetables to us at the bottom of Ide High Street for us to bring in for Saturday morning.
As I wrote the first version of this post I was surrounded by the sounds of West Town Farm folk keeping working in the snow making sure that all the animals are safe and well cared for. Thanks to all the landworkers everywhere! You might recognise Martin in the picture from when he was working at Shillingford Organics.
We hope you are keeping safe and warm but also enjoying the snow.
A huge thank you to everyone of you who has supported us on the start of our journey as the Harvest Workers’ Co-op. We have loved meeting you and talking to you both in the shop and at our events. We are all looking forward to seeing what the New Year brings.
Warm Mid Winter Wishes, Martyn, Sara, Henry, Liv. Sophie, Jo and Kevin
In the shop and …
In the New Year look out for weigh your own dry goods, organic beers, wines and ciders and different ways to do your shopping!
… out in the community
A Film for the New Year – Demain / Tomorrow
All over the globe solutions already exist. This is a hugely uplifting film finding positive stories about how we can live
Friday January 19th 6:30 – 10:00pm
Book tickets on here or pop into the Harvest Farm Shop
Film and Food £10 (£7 reduced price) Film only £5 (£3 reduced price)
Farm Visits and Family Workshops
Look out for more monthly family workshops and our seasonal pop up storytelling at a farm shop near you!!
The Farm Shop Gallery
Our next exhibition will be appearing soon featuring Martin’s beautiful wildlife images from around Hilltown Fields.
We want our events to be accessible as possible. Reduced price tickets are available if you can’t afford the full price.
Our thanks to Okehampton United Charities for making this possible.
In our first 3 months of the grant we have engaged directly with over 250 people through
3 farm visits
1 film screening
4 food workshops
1 artists talk
1 creative workshop
Displays and Exhibition Space
We have bought and fitted simple display material. Our first exhibition by photographer Walter Lewis celebrated landworkers around the country.
The notice board hand crafted by local carpenter Edward Griffiths has enhanced the outside wall space and is attracting wide attention. We are now working on a changing sequence of local farming seasonal images to display.
We have had three visits so far featuring no dig vegetable growing at Hilltown Organics, dairy farming at Taw River and light touch agro forestry at Silent Haven. We are pleased to be able to support these small scale farming activity.
We will be widening the range of farms alongside revisiting these three farms to give an experience of seasonal change.
We aim to approach and engage wider community especially people who might not normally visit farms. We’d welcome support in identifying such groups and we will be working in partnership with the primary school on this challenge.
We were really pleased to have over 50 people come to the premier of the Landworkers’ Alliance film In Our Hands It was good to use the Ockment Centre as the venue it allowed to serve a local and seasonal supper and create a positive social atmosphere. We have two more films in the new year one of which will incorporate a seed swap.
We have started our food workshops with two on Sourdough bread making and another on vegetable fermentation techniques
These were followed by an Community Apple pressing day in Red Lion Yard. This was done in partly in collaboration with Okehampton Primary School. We are looking forward to starting a monthly family workshop and a series of seasonal creative sessions.
In the news
Our education and community work has featured in various publications.
We have been really pleased with how the Harvest Farm Shop has been re imagined and reworked. It could not have happened without the support of so many of our friends and customers. A huge thanks to them. We have not finished … there will be more information and education displays and an ever changing seasonal display of all that is local and organic. However this post is to give a little sense of the journey so far up to our Launch Event on Friday. Thanks for coming with us.
We are doing a new reason each day for the remainder of our campaign. This post will be updated each day so stay tuned for more! So far we have:
So that our community can access affordable food – that is food that is produced sustainabilty so it is good to eat and good for the earth. This means that it will not have the inflated prices of “organic” food in the supermarket. We price check our produce so that it is an accessible price for everyone in the community.
To reconnect people with the land and where their food comes from! We’ll run farm-based activities for children and adults; because when kids get to dig a few spuds out of the ground, they are in total awe at the wonder and never will forget where potatoes come from! is the best way to learn…
We will provide jobs for people in our community. Our seven members all live locally in Devon, and all will be employed by the co-op. We hope in the future to be employing more people in the area who want to be part of the Okehampton food revolution!
We will provide a selling platform for smallscale, local growers like Down Farm Winkleigh, and Hilltown Organics
Where else can you buy a salad, loose or bagged, with over 50 different varieties of leaf, herbs & flowers?
We’ll be making seasonal smoothies with Okehampton Priory school today (Friday 23/6) in Red Lion Yard, Okehampton, in partnership with our friends at Love Local Food! What fun! Let’s get future generations pondering the origins and seasonality of our food, not just for today, but at every educational event we run as the Harvest Workers’ Co-op.
So that our community can access affordable food – that is food that is produced sustainably so it is good to eat and good for the earth. This means that it will not have the inflated prices of “organic” food in the supermarket. We price check our produce so that it is an accessible price for everyone in the community.
Our Crowdfunding campaign launch was on Monday 29th May! We have been busy shooting the film. Red Lion Yard was full of scripts and props and action. It was really good to work as a team and we can not wait to see what people think.
Here is a little out take of Kevin and Jo clearing up at the end of the day. We would love the whole process to be just a little easier and that is just part of what our crowdfunding is about.
It is based in Manchester and is a worker’s co-operative.
Unicorn Grocery is a co-operative grocery store located in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, England. As a workers co-op, it is controlled democratically by its member/owners, who run the business with a flat management structure and with an equal rate of pay. Ethics form the foundations of the business, and Unicorn’s Principles of Purpose are the framework within which the business operates.
Jo and Sara from Harvest Workers’ Co-op went up to visit. The folk at Unicorn were very generous with their time and energy and have give us a lot of food for thought. The picture gallery gives an idea as to what Unicorn is like. Visit Unicorn Grocery for more information.