Welcome Crop Droppers!
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022 by Chen
crop drop bag

Crop Drop, our sister veg scheme in Haringey, has made the tough and sad decision to stop trading at the end of August.

But the good news is that we at Growing Communities will be taking over running the veg scheme from September onwards so you'll still be able to lay your hands on organic, seasonal and locally grown veg from almost all the same farmers, while challenging supermarkets and supporting fair wages for the UK's brilliant sustainable farmers.

GC team

Who are Growing Communities?

In a way, GC is the mother of all veg schemes! Our founder and director Julie set up London's first CSA scheme in 1993, which became Growing Communities in 1996. And we set up the Better Food Traders network to bring together all the UK's ethical and sustainable veg schemes and food shops.

Crop Drop was initially set up through a Growing Communities start-up programme, so our ethics and values are completely aligned.

Like Crop Drop, GC sources food as locally, seasonally and directly as possible - from many of the farms you'll recognise from your time with Crop Drop.

More than just a veg scheme, GC trains growers, holds a weekly market and drives policy change. Our latest ambitious project is partnering Sustain to bridge the gap between food sustainability and accessibility. We want communities experiencing low incomes and health inequalities to have access to affordable and planet-friendly food so everyone can enjoy a universally healthy, just and sustainable food system.

 

What will be different for you?

Prices

Your bags will be slightly cheaper than Crop Drop's equivalent-sized veg bags.

Produce

GC's buying policy is a little different from Crop Drop's:

The GC veg scheme is organically certified, which means all the fruit and veg must come from certified organic farms. You will find lots of produce grown on our Hackney market gardens and Dagenham Farm. Currently Wolves Lane Centre and Black Rootz, the Haringey growers that Crop Drop sources from, do not have certification, so Crop Drop are helping them explore other avenues for selling their produce.

You'll find bananas in your fruit bags, a staple item that is extremely difficult to source in Europe. They come from a certified Organic and Fairtrade source by ship - a comparatively low-carbon form of transport.

Deliveries

Your drop points won't change for now but delivery routes might, so look out for changes to collection times.

Tags

Beware - our tag colour scheme is different from Crop Drop's! The bag names, your weekly emails and our What's in the Bag page, all include the correct colours, so double check when collecting your bags from September onwards.

Bags

We use waste carrier bags to pack your veg. And we top up our stash of returned bags with bought-in blue and black carrier bags. These are made from recycled plastic, so are also doing their bit to save plastic from landfill. Bring them - and the tags - back to your collection point and we'll reuse them as many times as possible before sending them for recycling.

Other stuff

GC runs a weekly organic farmers' market on Saturdays in Stoke Newington - a short cycle, bus or train trip or stroll down the river from Haringey. Here you can meet the farmers who supply the veg scheme and you'll find plenty more fruit and veg, as well as bread, raw milk, cheese, meat, mushrooms, cereals, kimchi + kombucha, local honey, cakes, chocolates, hot food and excellent coffee.

growing communities farmers market in Hackney

We welcome volunteers on our Hackney market gardens and we train growers on our farms.

We work hard to drive policy change. 

 

What happens when? 

3-11 August: Crop Drop packs and delivers your bags. Please continue to contact them about any issues or order changes.

17 August - 1 September: Growing Communities will pack and deliver your veg bags but you shouldn't notice any changes. Carry on using your Crop Drop account and contacting them if you need to.

2 September: Your GoCardless (direct debit) accounts will be transferred from Crop Drop to Growing Communities. GC will take payment for your September bags.

September onwards: You continue to get fresh, seasonal, organic fruit and veggies from GC, who will take on the full operation and management of Crop Drop's veg scheme. We will manage this handover process so there’s no need to do anything to your account. 

GDPR update: Crop Drop will transfer your data to Growing Communities so your service can continue. You can opt out from your data being transferred by emailing Crop Drop. Note, this will end your veg bag subscription. 

Kaya and Warami in polytunnel Springfield