We’re always keen to here about community green and environmental schemes, so we were particularly pleased to find out about a local programme taking place on our doorstep here in North West London. An aspiring group of North West London residents came together last July to launch a community run vegetable bag scheme. The lovely named Field to Fork Organics is a well thought out co-operative delivering bags of seasonal organice produce to different cafes, schools and independent shops across the areas and then the customers can pick them up on Thursdays. The bags start at £8.50 for small bag of delicious vegetables.
In less than three months, Field to Fork Organics has gone from strength to strenght and established a network of ten pick-up points located in Queen’s Park, Kensal Rise, Kensal Green, Willesden Green, Cricklewood, West Hampstead and Kilburn. The North London Tavern in Kilburn is the latest addition to the pick-up network. It will operate as a pick-up point starting on October 10th.
Field to Fork has also become last month a Soil Association certified food business. The vegetables come from selected small organic farms close to London. We spoke with one of the founding members Natasha Harris who put across their message clearly, “We are very keen on working directly with farmers”. Natasha, a project manager who works in the environmental sector, firmly believes that the existing food chain needs to be cut down to the minimum, in order to improve food quality. It is a conviction shared by all the founding members of this new vegetable bag scheme.
The vegetables that Field to Fork Organics customers find in their bags every week come mainly from Westmill Organics in Oxforshire. Pete Richardson, the founder of Westmill Organics, has been growing organic vegetable for over 16 years and has won numerous awards for quality, taste and service. For Ian Kriss, another founding member of the community-run vegetable bag, meeting Pete was a very important step in the creation of the co-operative. “I met him at the Real Farming conference in Oxford last January and I returned to London with a head full of possibilities”, says Ian, an entrepreneur who enjoys growing vegetables with his children.
Field to Fork Organics is also one of four food street businesses which have received the backing of the Mayor of London. The co-operative is part of a six-month food pilot project designed by Boris Johnson’s food adviser, Rosie Boycott, to regenerate the high-street and encourage healthy eating.
To find out more about Field to Fork Organics, you can visit our website: www.fieldtoforkorganics.coop