Growing food is a huge aspect of our smallholding life and we have been growing a large part of all the fruit and vegetables we eat. This year, with the large polytunnel, we will be able to expand the growing season up in the Welsh hills and also gain extra space to grow commercially too.
When, last Summer, I heard of the Pathways to Farming programme, I jumped at the chance of taking part. The project works on increasing the number of horticultural food producers in North Powys and creating new markets for local produce. I am passionate about the importance of small, independent businesses and I value the contribution they make towards making the local food economy more resilient. The programme is just what I needed to develop my horticultural knowledge and skills further and to help me set up a veg bag scheme in the area. I was delighted when fellow trainee growers Liz, Michele and Maxwell were keen to join in too and run the venture together. We started to work together to nurture the idea and develop it into a new business… Soon, Veg2table had sprouted!
As well as the taught lessons and assignments to hand in, we have, as a team, invested many hours of discussions, meetings and collaborative work to give the project the perfect conditions in which to thrive. We have modelled our veg bag scheme on an already successful one run in nearby Machynlleth. We grow our produce with organic principles so our veg are not only good for us, they're good for the planet too. Our weekly bags will contain 7-8 vegetables, according to what is in season and available. We are aiming for 20 bags between the four of us in the first year and we will operate between June and October, when harvest is most bountiful in our parts.
We are pleased with the interest that Veg2table is generating and we look forward to signing up our first customers in a few weeks’ time. Before too long, all the seedlings we have growing in our sunroom will transform into deliciously fresh, local and seasonal produce to grace many a table in the Newtown area.