A busy growing season! Increased membership : COCA , based at Caerhys Farm near Berea, overlooking Abereiddy, is coming to the end of its sixth growing season., and looking back over a very, very busy year. The number of members sharing the vegetable harvest has increased to 55, spread now from all over the Peninsula, but most around St Davids. The pick-up points at Fishguard and Haverfordwest are becoming better known and used as well
More than just organic veggies : many members now take the opportunity to get their organic fruit, dry goods and household stuff directly delivered every week to Caerhys, ordered through C and M Organics, making more of a saving. COCA buys in extra organic produce from them as well (for example the replacement for the carrots and parsnips eaten by the badgers)
Happy slugs and “Waste not, Want not”! : The weather has been a challenge, from exceptionally dry, through the cold wet late August, followed by a fabulous autumn, and now soggy and wet, though unusually warm. The wet warm November is creating a population boom in slugs out in the field … and of course we don’t use any slug pellets. The exceptionally dry autumn brought hungry badgers who found our carrots and parsnips irresistible, and half-eaten roots are not accepted for the veg share boxes. We had to put out fencing to deter them … but you cannot fence out slugs. We harvest the best of our veg, trying not to waste otherwise good food just because it has a few slug holes. The supermarkets would not be so thrifty. Our really inedible outer leaves and spoiled veg goes to feed the Caerhys pigs …. no waste!
A summer of young volunteers : nearly 60 mostly young people have stayed and worked at COCA this year, helping with the growing and weeding, as well as preparing for the harvest party, picking crops and keeping themselves entertained. Most stayed for only 2 weeks at a time, but a few stay on for longer, loving the area, the happy atmosphere and the rewarding work in a community enterprise.
And finally … Cartref COCA : the straw bale building which will become COCA’s new home on the farm is taking shape, thanks to the Big Lottery Fund and the dedication of very hard-working volunteers over the miraculously dry autumn. It now has a turf roof and the walls are being rendered so it looks less like a haystack. This will soon be our centre and powerhouse… helping us to grow more and better into the next years.
To Join COCA : visit the website www.coca-csa.org or call the Membership Secretary on 07740 582830.
COCA is a “csa” growing seasonal organic vegetables on Caerhys Farm at Berea. Veg shares are provided weekly, all year round. Other organic produce can be bought. Members pay the same amount every month by Standing Order; minimum membership period 3 months after first trial month.