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Welcome to Banc Organics!

Banc Organics is a not-for-profit community supported food scheme which grows Organic* vegetables and fruit in Bancffosfelen and distributes them in the Gwendraeth valleys. Our members get a weekly Organic fruit and veg bag delivered to a pick up point near their home. Much of our work is done by volunteers, and we encourage our members to get involved in growing their food, as well as getting to know each other.

We are a small group of people who want to provide fresh, Organic, local food for ourselves, our families and our communities.We are now in our seventh year of producing vegetables and fruit from our two growing sites in Bancffosfelen. Most of the hard work so far has been done by dedicated volunteers, though we hope to eventually pay our main workers for more of their time.

The idea is that our members tell us what they’d like us to grow and we grow it for them. Our members commit to buying the produce in a weekly vegetable bag and we commit to supplying a great value bag of fresh Organic vegetables every week all year round.

∗ Our produce is registered Organic with the [Biodynamic Association]

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Banc Organics entering a period of change.

For the last 10 years Banc Organics has operated as part of the charity Tir Eithin Farm. Whilst we have been operationally independent we have not been a separate legal entity. We have also relied on the farm for things like insurance and organic certification, work from the farmers and their resident volunteers and premises and land. Due to age and illness the farm cannot continue and is being wound up with the assets donated to a national charity.

Banc Organics however is going to relaunch as an independent Social Enterprise. We are working on this at the moment and will communicate more details soon, including how you can get involved.

This presents us with some major challenges. In order to replace the resources and input the farm provided we need as much help as we can get. One of the first challenges is going to be to replace the land and premises that we are losing. We will still have our Top Meadow site but will be losing most of our poly tunnels, our packing shed and our office as well as some land. Our site at Top Meadow whilst good for growing is small and insufficient for all the growing we do and expansion of the scheme that we aim for.

So we are putting the call out for help to locate a new site and premises.
We need:

  • a packing shed or somewhere we can build one,
  • a site for polytunels
  • some good land, not boggy or steep.
  • ideally water and power but we solutions such as boreholes and solar panels could be a solution.
  • an office (though we will probably manage without)
If the site is near our existing operations a field of a couple of acres will do. But a good site of 4 - 5 acres with most of the above anywhere in our current area of operations would work.

If you know anywhere that might be suitable please let us know! We have very little time to find a new site as we will be losing our premises very soon.

Email us or phone martin 07815486193 to discuss. Please ask anyone you know who might be able to help.

We believe Banc Organics has a good chance of thriving and growing in the future if we can get through this transition. We have amassed a wealth of experience over 10 years and developed a much admired growing system that is efficient and environmentally friendly. We have grown and supplied a lot of high quality food locally and many people have benefited and learned from involvement in our growing. We really want it to continue, to thrive and to expand.

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In This Week's Bag

Sunday October 13th

The story at the moment is of summer veg finishing and winter crops taking over. The wet weather is playing havoc with our harvesting and threatening the quality of some crops, so while we still have potatoes in the ground we may have to buy in some next week as those we have lifted have run out and it is impossible to lift the remaining ones while it is this wet. Sweetcorn has been finished off by rots in the cobs (I really hope no-one got a bad one this week we tried hard to check them).

The only summer crop we still have much left of is tomatoes but they may not last long. So this week you might expect to find parsnips, celery, kale, leeks, cabbages, squash, pac choi, mixed salad leaves or lettuce and for some (not sure how many) tomatoes.

On the bought in produce look out for an exciting range of British apples which is changing every week at the moment. From our own seasonal produce I can particularly recommend at the moment all the green leafy veg, squashes, our carrots which are still very fresh and leeks (we are just starting the much tastier winter varieties).

Orders by 8pm Tuesday please and remember we will reuse any our packaging you return clean, but particularly return the bags and boxes.

ORGANIC BEEF FROM THE GWENDRAETH VALLEY

Tyr Eithin also currently have packs of beef available - approximately 10kg in a range of cuts, vacuum packed and freezer ready. Price ₤10.25/kg
Please contact Tony or Sue Mathews 01269 870720 or 07792 381168 to ask for delivery.

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Contact Us

  • Banc Organics bancorganics@gmail.com 01269 870101
  • Martin Samphire 07530 786838
  • You may also contact us through our Facebook page.

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How It Works

The scheme runs all year round. Nearly all of the produce is grown in Bancffosfelen, although we do buy in some organic vegetables if the need arises.

  1. Large Bag: £16.50, Medium Bag: £12.25, Small Bag: £9, Large Growers Choice Bag £13.50, Small Growers Choice bag £8, Delivery £1.75, and lastly your can choose and fill your own bag with your favourites via our online Bucky Box Shop.
  2. If you become a member, pay an annual fee of £10 and receive a 5% discount on all bags.
  3. If you want to join but can’t afford it, please talk to us. Some households may also be eligible for vouchers towards the cost of fresh vegetables. ( www.healthystart.nhs.uk )
  4. You can exclude items you never want to receive.
  5. The weekly bags are taken to “Pick up” points called Hubs near to where you live in Carmarthenshire
  6. Visit our online shop to see our range of produce.
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Management

Day-to-day management of Banc Organics is in the hands of a core group of interested people. They are:

  • Martin Samphire (Top Meadow)
  • Sue and Tony Mathews (Ty’r Eithin Farm)
  • Sian Barlow
  • Sue Bilsborough

The overall management of Banc Organics is through Ty’r Eithin Farm Ltd, a charitable company, based at Tireithin Farm, Bancffosfelen, SA15 5BR.

  • Charity no: 513880
  • Company no: 1729874
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What We Ask of You

  • We ask you to support us by paying through a Standing Order with your bank. This makes our lives much easier.
  • If you are going to be away, we ask you to do your best to find a friend or neighbour who will have your bag of vegetables.
  • We ask for notice of your Membership ending or for changing the size of your bag or your preferences.

Terms and Conditions

If you have trouble with payments please talk to us.

Where you pay by cash or cheque we cannot make any guarantee as to when this will be paid into our account.

We reserve the right to refuse deliveries to you and to cancel your account where payment(s) have been withheld. You agree to compensate us in full for all reasonable costs and expenses (including legal costs) in obtaining payments that have not been made in accordance with these terms and conditions.

[14 July 2017]We have acquired some land that is currently in the process of conversion to attain Biodynamic standards. While the produce cannot be certified Organic, we will at no time be using chemicals to grow our fruit and vegetables.

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You Can Join In

Volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to take part, for as little or as much time as you can spare, here is some information about getting involved. If you'd like to find out more get in touch by clicking here and phone or email us.

We hold regular “Farm Days” (about once per month), where members are encouraged to come to one of our growing sites and see what is involved in growing their food. We also hold social events for our members and the local community.

Every Tuesday morning we meet to garden and work (Sian in the office; Sue and Martin in the garden). Midway through the morning we stop for elevenses, including from time to time treats brought in by volunteers.

We provide a newsletter for members, keeping you up-to-date about the garden and events, and giving recipe ideas for your vegetables.

We host an annual Harvest Supper where we meet to share food and inspiration. This is also an opportunity for members to feedback about what we should grow next year and how Banc Organics develops in the future.

We encourage help and involvement from members, but there is no obligation. You can learn to grow food by joining in our Tuesday morning volunteer sessions. Or you can help with distribution or administration, or organising fun events, or just by sharing favourite recipes. Out of pocket expenses such as travel costs can be reimbursed.

We welcome comments and suggestions from members. Please discuss any ideas or concerns you have with a core group member who will pass them on. Anyone who can commit a little time can join the core group.

Every second Tuesday evening (between 8pm and 10pm normally) the core group meets. We would love some reps from our volunteers and members to join, so if you're interested please let me know.

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