- Veg Scheme
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Growing Communities is now running the Haringey veg scheme that used to be run by Crop Drop, so you Haringey folk can still 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.
Bag names and tag colours
Confusingly, GC and Crop Drop chose different tag colours, so take extra care when picking up your bags for a while.
If you have a SMALL VEG BAG (used to be white tag), look for a bag with a RED tag.
If you have a SMALL NO POTATOES BAG (used to be red tag), look for a WHITE tag.
If you have a STANDARD VEG BAG (used to be green tag), look for a YELLOW tag.
If you have a STANDARD NO POTATOES BAG, you're still looking for a PURPLE tag (woohoo!)
If you used to have a Crop Drop LARGE BAG (used to be orange tag), you should now collect a MEDIUM VEG BAG, with a BLUE tag.
If you used to have a Crop Drop LARGE NO POTATOES BAG (used to be blue tag), you should now collect a MEDIUM NO POTATOES BAG, with an ORANGE tag.
If you used to have a Crop Drop SMALL FRUIT BAG, look for a SMALL FRUIT bag with NO TAG.
And there's more...
We also offer a bigger Standard fruit bag, with 4 different fruits each week in larger quantities, and Large veg and Large no potatoes veg bags, with 9 (10 this week!) vegetables in larger quantities. If you have a hungry household and would like to switch up to either of these, please log into your account and change your order. (Your password is the same one you used to log into your Crop Drop account.) Or you can ask us to change your order for you.
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 all your used plastic carrier bags - and the tags - back to your collection point and we'll reuse them as many times as possible before sending them for recycling. We don't use cotton bags as they get too soggy in wet weather, and need a lot of cleaning. Learn more about why we use plastic bags.
Our order deadlines are earlier than you're used to, but we'll send you plenty of reminders to make changes in good time. Your order goes to the farmers on Wednesday afternoon. Then they know exactly how much produce to harvest for you. If you book holidays after we have put in the order, we end up with too much produce on packing day. We ask you to make order changes by Wednesday lunchtime; the final deadline is 5pm Thursday.
GC's prices are slightly lower than Crop Drop's.
GC's buying policy is a little different from Crop Drop's:
The GC veg scheme is organically certified, and all the fruit and veg we sell comes from certified organic farms. You will find lots of produce grown on our Hackney market gardens and Dagenham Farm. We are looking at how we might be able to include produce from Wolves Lane Centre and Black Rootz in Haringey, who do not currently have organic certification.
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.
Your collection points (formerly drop points) won't change for now but delivery routes might, so look out for changes to collection times.
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.
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.
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.
Our market gardens
We welcome volunteers on our Hackney market gardens and we train growers on our farms.