Keep Banc Organics growing!

by Banc Organics in Pontyberem, Wales, United Kingdom

We did it
On 27th August 2021 we successfully raised £1,695 with 33 supporters in 42 days

Continue providing locally grown, organic food in Carmarthenshire and Swansea, connecting with our community and protecting our wildlife

by Banc Organics in Pontyberem, Wales, United Kingdom

Banc Organics produce organic fruit and vegetables on a small farm in Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire. We have been hit hard by the Covid pandemic, and we need your help.

1625596287_screenshot_2021-07-06_at_19.30.19.pngWe want to continue being a force for good in our corner of the world. We find ourselves in a financial crisis because Covid restrictions prevented us from growing our business the way we planned. We have an incredible new site in Kidwelly, and an abundance of crops are growing there as we speak. They are ready for those customers that we have been unable to reach due to lockdowns over the past 18 months. Any donation, great or small, will help us spread the word of our mission so that we can engage new supporters, provide more locally grown organic fruit and veg, and hold more events like potluck meals, documentary screenings and host talks and debates. We also have plans to keep bees, plant an orchard, provide training in organic growing and run fun and educational courses for the public.

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I imagine you’re here because of a belief in something. That could be shopping with local businesses, supporting organic farming, contributing to the community, an interest in protecting the environment and biodiversity, or very simply that food should be good and nutritious. At Banc Organics, we’re passionate about all these things, which is why we’ve dedicated ourselves to growing and delivering organic veg in our local community for the past eleven years. Like so many others over the past 15 months, we now find ourselves in difficulty, and so we’re calling out to kindred spirits, supporters, people who love food and people who love people. We’d love you to be a part of our journey towards a better future for Carmarthenshire and Swansea.

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At Banc Organics we planted our first seeds in the ground in 2009. We worked with Ty’r Eithin, a local charity who provided the land, and a lovely group of volunteers. At the very beginning of last year, Ty’r Eithin was wound up, and so we decided to set up a Community Interest Company to take our Banc Organics vision further. We were aware of the challenges ahead – we needed to find new land and expand our supporter base to support the new jobs we were creating – but we had planned a 2020 where we would start our Community Interest Company off with a bang: events, markets, volunteering days, shared meals and so much more. Little did we know how we’d be immersed in a change that would transform the world as we know it.

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Instead of celebrations and community gatherings, we found ourselves in a very different, a very crucial role: supplying food to those in need when shelves elsewhere were bare. Our waiting list grew exponentially as people feared that they would not be able to find food. The fragile supply chains of the supermarkets were laid bare, and, rather than a meal at the weekend or a spring time walk, community work took the shape of a free delivery for a vulnerable person, a guarantee of food on a Friday, a friendly word to someone who hadn’t had any contact for days. We are proud of our response to the pandemic, and in some ways we feel closer to our customers and supporters than ever before. But the pandemic combined with other challenges mean that we need help to fulfil our potential.

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We recently secured land at a new site that will allow us to grow more of our own organic crops and involve more volunteers, and we created new jobs that support the local economy - we employ 5 people on a permanent basis, 3-4 workers on contract (depending on the season) and we have a dedicated group of around 10 volunteers.

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We now have a committed, passionate and talented team, a wonderful growing site and a detailed plan of how we’re going to bring our vision to fruition. The easing of restrictions means that we are finally able to step out into the community in the way that we originally envisioned.

However, the launch of the company in 2020 came with various increased costs – most significantly the creation of those five jobs over the course of the year. Under Covid restrictions, we couldn’t get out into the community to spread our message, to meet new people, to share our passion. As a result we have been unable to engage people in the numbers needed to make the operation as a whole viable. This, combined with a very cold and wet start to the growing season, means that we now find ourselves in a crisis. 

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We know in our hearts that something isn’t right with our food systems. Supermarkets sell food at the lowest possible price for the highest possible profit, often squeezing the life out of the smaller scale growers and producers. Agricultural systems based on monocultures follow the same model – the highest crop yield in the smallest space. 1624913695_my_post(1).jpg

Our flora and fauna, the delicate balance our planet has perfected over millennia, are abandoned so that these profit-driven systems can continue to dominate. 

1624908337_screenshot_2021-06-28_at_20.24.23.pngIt’s not just a matter of what goes in your basket and on your plate, it’s a thread that connects people, that roots memories in place and time. Shared meals, birthday cakes, picnics, mythologies, ice cream on the beach with the sand between your toes. We want to continue being a part of all of this, to contribute to the movement towards a more sustainable and responsible way of farming, eating and living so that we leave a safer, kinder, more stable world for the ones that come after us.

There’s a lot of passion here, and a lot of potential here, and if we reach our targets with the fundraising, we have no doubt that we can go from strength to strength in being a hub for food, education and connection in our community. Any help you can give is so very much appreciated. Thank you.

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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£15 or more

Supporters page

Your name will appear on a Supporters Page on our website. You will also have our heartfelt thanks.

£25 or more

4 of 5 claimed

Tamar Organics gift voucher

Thanks to the generosity of Tamar Organics, a £5 gift voucher to be spent on their Organic Seeds & Gardening Supplies at www.tamarorganics.co.uk/shop. Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website.

£25 or more

2 of 12 claimed

Jar of Welsh wildflower honey

A jar of delicious wildflower honey kindly donated by Cilgwenyn Bee Farm (https://www.bees.wales/). The reward will be a jar of one of the following varieties: Brecon Beacons Uplands Wildflower, Gower Saltmarsh Wildflower or Ceredigion Coastal Wildflower. You must live within our delivery area/be able to pick up from Kidwelly to claim this reward.

£25 or more

1 of 8 claimed

Natural Art for 4-7 year olds

An hour's session making various crafts to take home. Date and time to be arranged. 1 child per pledge, to be accompanied by an adult

£25 or more

0 of 12 claimed

Bottle of organic Welsh apple juice

A bottle of delicious organic apple juice kindly donated by Welsh Farmhouse (https://welshfarmhouseltd.co.uk/). The reward will be a 750ml bottle of a seasonal single variety apple juice. You must live within our delivery area/be able to pick up from Kidwelly to claim this reward.

£30 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Banc Organics 2022 calendar

A wall calendar showing seasonal views of our growing sites and our delicious produce. Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website. You must live within our delivery area/be able to pick up from Kidwelly to claim this reward.

£30 or more

Organic veg box

A box of seasonal organic veg delivered to one of our hubs or a home address within our normal delivery area (see map). Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website. You must live within our delivery area/be able to pick up from Kidwelly to claim this reward.

£30 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Local pickles and chutneys selection

A selection box of three pickles and chutneys made by local pickler Tegwen Burns. You must live within our delivery area/be able to pick up from Kidwelly to claim this reward.

£35 or more

0 of 25 claimed

Party at the farm for two

We’ll treat you and a guest to a summer evening party at our new growing site near Kidwelly, to thank you for your kind support. Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website. (Reward is for two people at a supporters event to be arranged)

£40 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Lunch on the farm for two

Bring a guest for lunch at our stunning new growing site near Kidwelly and enjoy the lovely views. Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website. (Reward is for two people at a supporters event to be arranged)

£40 or more

1 of 8 claimed

Den building with the kids

Spend a half day learning how to make a proper den. Learn about different types of den and lashings to secure them, and enjoy being outdoors! Date and time to be arranged. 1 child per pledge, 8-12 years old

£75 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Organic gardening consultation

Send photos of your garden and your plan, and our expert growers will advise you. (A garden visit may be possible for those living in our area.) Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website.

£75 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Afternoon tea for two at Henleys of Tumble

A special afternoon treat for two!

£75 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Session with a qualified fitness instructor

A 30 minute fitness mentoring session with qualified fitness instructor David Ricketts, plus a 30 minute private consultation. (Reward is for one person, taking part in a small group fitness session to be arranged).

£100 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Family lunch on the farm

Bring your family for lunch on the farm, at our stunning new growing site near Kidwelly with its lovely views. Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website, in our newsletter and on social media. (Reward is for a family of up to 2 adults and 4 children at a supporters event to be arranged).

£100 or more

0 of 6 claimed

An afternoon of bushcraft skills

Want to brush up on your survival skills? Join us for an afternoon of fire lighting, whittling and Bear Grylls tips. With Ellie, an experienced bushcraft leader.

£100 or more

0 of 6 claimed

Creative writing workshop

An afternoon workshop to develop your voice as a writer and learn some basic approaches to writing about nature. With local writer Dawn Morgan (https://writers-workshop- westwales.com/dawn-morgan). Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website. (Reward is for one person on a group writing workshop to be arranged)

£150 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Lunch for 2 at Wright's

Treat yourself and another to a delicious lunch at Wright's in Llanarthne. They use the highest quality ingredients, as locally sourced as possible.

£200 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Woodland bathing day

For you and up to 3 other people. Spend up to 3 hours (your choice) immersed in a private mixed woodland, explore, find out, relax. You can even hug a tree!

£250 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Heritage seedlings

We will grow heritage varieties for you next year and send you the seedlings close to the time of sowing. Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website. (Up to 20 seedlings to be supplied in the spring of 2022). You must live in our delivery area or be able to pick up from Kidwelly to claim this reward.

£250 or more

0 of 30 claimed

A tree planted in your name

We will plant a tree in your name at our growing site in Kidwelly. Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website.

£500 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Organic growing course

A full day’s Introduction of Organic Growing Course, with one our experienced organic growers. Includes lunch and a tailored information pack to take away. Plus our warm appreciation, and your name on a Supporters Page on our website. (Reward is for one person on a day course to be arranged in 2022)

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