Vegetable box scheme launched in Burnley with backing of Prince Charles

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FARMERS have dreamed up a fresh idea to feed Burnley’s green revolution.

Growers are set to launch a Cropshare veg box scheme to bring cheap, tasty and locally-produced vegetables to households in the town.

From June, people will be able to order a weekly box for as little as £6 which will be delivered to collection points across Burnley.

The packs, available in small or standard size, contain up to nine different types of seasonal and staple vegetables such as onions, potatoes and carrots which are grown at Freshfields Enterprises in Cemetery Lane.

The Cropshare team hope the scheme will take root and get more people eating healthy and climate-friendly food.

The ambitious venture is just one of many sustainability schemes backed by the Prince’s Charities and Burnley Express “Green Burnley” campaign.

The Prince’s Charities will be looking to link up and support the brilliant sustainability schemes that are happening across the town as well as inspire new ones through the Start Sustainable Burnley initiative.

Helen Meade, Cropshare co-ordinator, said: “It is a veg box scheme with a difference. Not only will it supply people with easy access to good quality, healthy, fresh food, but by forging strong links with local growers and paying a fair price for their produce, it also aims to reinvigorate the local farming economy.”

She explained that the project is self-sustaining and all the profits will be ploughed back in to growing more vegetables for sale in Burnley.

All of the food grown at Freshfields, which provides horticultural training for adults with learning difficulties, will be accredited by Climate Friendly Food or certified organic.

She said: “There is no doubt that food grown without pesticides and herbicides is better for the environment, and some people think it is also better for their health.

“Many of us struggle to afford to buy organic produce, and we hope that the Cropshare boxes will really help to change this. Climate Friendly Food requires the same high standards as any other organic method, but is much easier and cheaper for growers to join.

“We’ve also brought running costs down to a bare minimum by using pick up points rather than door to door delivery, and we will be passing these savings on to our customers.”

People were able to learn more about the scheme at a showcase event at Burnley Town Hall this week.

Those wishing to know more can also attend an event tomorrow.

Head chef Steve Smith from the award-winning Freemasons restaurant in Wiswell will be doing seasonal cookery demonstrations at the bandstand in Burnley town centre.

There will also be children’s seed planting sessions.

Helen Meade added: “Everyone is welcome at our events in May - they will be a celebration of good food, and a chance to find out more about the Cropshare scheme.”

For more information email burnleycropshare@gmail.com or phone Helen Meade on 07501 023519 or visit www.burnleyfoodlinks.org.uk/cropshare.