Pea Pod Veg are Abby Nicol and Thad Skews.
Pea Pod Veg delivers locally grown, organic and seasonal vegetables to the Hastings area throughout the year. We are the only independent veg box scheme that delivers to homes in Hastings.
We started Pea Pod Veg in 2016 when Abby worked at Pannel Organics, an organic farm a few miles outside of Hastings. Sadly Pannel Organics was forced to close, ending Hastings' only local, organic vegetable farm and leaving us without a home farm
Determined to keep Pea Pod Veg going we have spent the winter looking for somewhere to move to... and in March 2018 we signed an agreement to rent 2.5 acres from Hook and Sons organic farm in Hailsham.
We're now in the busy stage of setting up for this year. We are buying polytunnels, machinery and containers for storage as well as, seeds, compost and plants for this growing season, but we need a lot more infrastructure to get us up and running:
We need to buy farm equipment so that we can operate efficiently from the get go.
- An irrigation system: to water seedlings and vegetables in the summer months.
- Insect netting; to protect our veg from pests (cabbage whites, carrot fly, flea beetle, rabbit and pigeons!)
- A flail mower tractor attachment; to cut our green manures and grass land and help control weeds.
- A cooling element for our cold store: crucial to keep veg fresh during the heat of the summer.
- Hand tools and wheel hoe
- Flame weeder
- Plant trolleys
- Harvesting crates
- A precision seeder
- Scales and packing materials
We need more farms: The UK produces less than 60% of the food we consume* and currently depends on the EU for more than 30% of our food.** On top of that the average age of a UK farmer is around 60 years old. We need to eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day yet horticultural farms are usually too small to receive any government or EU support, even for help with start up costs. The UK lost 33,500 farms between 2005 and 2015 yet we need farmers three times a day. We need more farmers and growers.
Transparency: The further food travels to get to us the more polluting it is. Long supply chains mean we are disconnected from where and how are food is produced (chemical use, GMOS) and from those who are producing it (poorer working standards, slave labour). At present the industrial model of farming uses 70% of the resources to produce 30% of the world's food. In contrast, 70% of the world's food is actually produced by small scale farmers using 30% of the resources***. Small farms are productive, less wasteful and feed more people. We need more farmers and growers in the UK to build resilient local food supply chains and supply vegetables to our local communities.
- We want to supply our local community with fresh, nutritious, healthy vegetables that we've grown.
- We believe organic farming is the best agricultural system that looks after the health of the people, soils, water courses and wildlife. We are certified through the Soil Association.
- We want to build a transparent local supply chain - where food is fresher (more nutritious,) where there are fewer food miles (less pollution) and where there is a greater connection between farm and community.
- We believe in sharing information and keeping customers updated with news from the farm. Each veg box comes with a weekly newsletter.
- We want to be an example of productive and efficient organic vegetable growing. Once established we want to share our experience through apprenticeships and create jobs in organic horticulture.
- We believe everyone has the right to good food. We seek to make our veg affordable and foster links with organisations to be more accessible.
- We believe growers should receive a living wage for their work as food producers.
To achieve this we believe we need more farmers and growers.
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
“I'm writing to say how much I value my weekly delivery of wonderful organic veg...They are the best quality organic veg I've ever bought and totally fresh. Its a special part of my week looking to see what goodies there are in my box and its actually somewhat transformed my cooking routine for the week as I cook according to what is in the box and get new recipes too.”
“ I really value having access to local organic produce, both for my own health, and for the health of the environment and the local economy."
"The quality of the veg each week is second to none and always delivered with a smile and a chat!"
* Defra, Agriculture in the UK 2015. London: Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, 2016.
** Defra, Food Statistics Pocketbook 2015. 2015, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: London
*** The Landworkers' Alliance www.landworkersalliance.org.uk