Just over six years ago, we started the Gung Hoe journey with $200 each to
invest in the business, a little bit of know how, a whole lot of passion and five short little rows of garlic. We have since built by hand, quite literally row by row our market garden to now be just over an acre of intensely productive, diverse and vibrant land. We have (and continue to) learnt so much and have trialled so many different models for how best to make our food accessible to our community whilst caring for the land and all the creatures big and small who depend on it, including us.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is just that; Communities supporting
the people who feed them so they can continue to grow good food that
benefits the community and the land on which its grown. This comes about through ongoing relationships, education and a sharing of both the rewards and the risks of farming. The concept originated Japan in the 1970’s and the Japanese word for the idea ‘Teikei’ means to ‘put the farmers’ face on the food’. That’s what Gung Hoe is about. We want the people who eat our food to know and trust us. Not only this but also to know and trust that how we choose to grow the food you eat is helping to regenerate and care for the country on which we grow.
We’ve been offering mixed veggie boxes in various forms for the last 6 years.
We’ve tried models ranging from casual boxes where people sign up week by week, to whole season boxes where people can sign up for up to 12 weeks worth of veggies. We’re now ready to trial another offering in this space. A twelve month CSA box.
What is a 12 Month CSA?
We are only releasing ten places for the 12 month CSA this year as it is a new concept for us and we don’t want to over commit. They will begin in October 2021, and include:
- A weekly veggie box for twelve months at an average value of $35/week (some weeks less and some weeks more depending on the abundance of the season).
- Seasonal open days and opportunities to get hands on especially for these CSA members
- An opportunity to have input into the planning of what we grow for your boxes.
- A workshop with Duang Tengtrirat from ‘Duangs Master Cooking Classes’ on how to cook with the whole vegetable.
- Weekly CSA boxes which can be collected from the Wednesday Castlemaine Farmers Market or on Fridays from the Farm Shop in Harcourt.
- CSA veggie boxes get the first pick of the best veg and our full range. What we take to sell at market is only what is left over after we have packed CSA boxes so often isn’t the the full array of what we are growing.
We ask for full upfront payment for the whole year if possible. At the same time we don’t want this to be a limiting factor so are happy to negotiate payment plans if necessary.
This is truly and unapologetically eating seasonally and locally. The contents of each box will depend on a combination of our best planning, hard work and the unpredictable nuances of the season. But in general this is roughly what you can expect:
Spring: Peas, broad beans, kohl rabi, sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, globe artichokes, coriander, garlic scapes, salad, parsley, Italian herbs, leafy greens (kale, silverbeet, rainbow chard, Warrigal greens), beetroot, radish, turnips, alliums (onion, leek, spring onion, garlic), sorrel, rhubarb
Summer: Tomato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant, basil, zucchini, cucumber, melons, cape gooseberries, beans, peas, salad, parsley, Italian herbs, leafy greens (kale, silverbeet, rainbow chard, Warrigal greens), beetroot, radish, alliums (onion, leek, spring onion, garlic), sorrel, rhubarb
Autumn: Popcorn, dried beans (black bean, kidney bean, fava bean), pumpkin, potato, Jerusalem artichoke, cape gooseberries, tomato, capsicum, chilli, eggplant, basil, zucchini, cucumber, melons, coriander, pak choy, tatsoi, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohl rabi, salad, parsley, Italian herbs, leafy greens (kale, silverbeet, rainbow chard, Warrigal greens), beetroot, radish, alliums (onion, leek, spring onion, garlic), sorrel, rhubarb
Winter: Radiccio, endive, escarole, pumpkin, potato, Jerusalem artichoke, broccoli, cabage, kohl rabi, cauliflower, salad, parsley, Italian herbs, leafy greens (kale, silverbeet, rainbow chard, Warrigal greens), beetroot, radish, turnip, alliums (onion, leek, spring onion, garlic), sorrel, rhubarb
Why we are trying this model?
- Develop a closer, more on going relationship with our eaters
- Financial stability- having upfront payments and committed CSA members means we can more accurately plan our season whilst minimising seasonal financial stress and uncertainty. It gives us a solid base from which to grow your food.
- We know we can do it! After growing, harvesting and packing veggie boxes every week for the past six years we now feel certain that we have the skills to provide a zinging veggie box year round.
- We are having more interns working with us and we want to pay them, so having an assured income from CSA boxes helps us train up the next generation of growers!
Boxes will begin in October but we will be getting together with all the 12 month subscribers in July to plan what we’re growing, so sign ups will close early July.
Also we will continue to offer some seasonal and possibly casual boxes throughout the year, especially in summer and autumn and we will continue to bring to the weekly market what harvest we have left over after packing boxes so you will still be able to access our produce if the 12 month subscription isn’t for you.
We have just opened our ’12 Month Veggie CSA Subscriptions’ on HOFC Open Food Network shop, so if you are interested follow the link (and select ‘Gung Hoe Produce’ from the drop down ‘Ready For’ menu), or if you’ve got any questions, fly us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sas (and Mel)
The face of your Grow-hers: