Frith is a new local farm to the Hull and Beverley area, we aim to provide local people with quality food and improve the way in which food is produced and distributed. Frith places a major focus on quality; combining chemical free, fresh produce with sustainable production and distribution methods.
We are developing a diverse and productive farm; in the long term, we intend to expand the farm in order to produce fruit, fermented foods and keep chickens and cows.
There’s a lot going on here at Frith, but in short:
- CSA Veg box subscription
- Gourmet salad production
- Community focused farm
- Workshare places
- Supply local independent outlets (Grain Wholefood and Vanessa’s Deli)
- Events and Workshops
- Volunteer days
- Education Visits
A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is very much like a box scheme. Basically, you pay a weekly/monthly/annual subscription to receive a share of the harvest, which will be a large variety of seasonal veggies, all produced on Frith Farm.
However, being a CSA Frith is more than your average box scheme; members not only receive a share of the harvest they are also welcome to join in the farming process too. CSA thrives on community involvement, we will run regular volunteer days and 5 members a chance to work a 3.5 hour session per week for a veg box instead of paying. Members can visit the farm and an active social area will be maintained for members use.
Although to be a member it is not necessary to be involved in the running of the farm. Some people want and deserve access to high quality local food but have too many other commitments to be involved in the production process, therefore a financial contribution is enough.
As the farm will be directly accountable to the members we will strive to produce fresh, high quality nutrient dense food that is grown with a respect for natural habitat and without the use of any pesticides or chemical fertilisers.
Supply local independent outlets (Grain Wholefoods and Vanessa’s Deli)
If you feel that you’re not ready to commit to the CSA Box scheme, you can find our produce at Grain Wholefoods in Hull and Vanessa’s Deli in Beverley.
Why We Do It
To make Quality food more accessible
In our area there is little opportunity to access quality, fresh, local produce. Frith Farm is committed to quality food; we choose varieties for flavor as opposed to productivity and all produce is delivered the day it is harvested to ensure optimum freshness.
Re-Connect people with the Land, their Food and Farmers
Frith CSA gives people a chance to become a farmer and with a direct market assured we can concentrate on producing high quality food and practice careful land stewardship. The members then get to eat the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious food they have ever experienced as all the produce is harvested the day you receive it.
The community makes it economically viable
With the community supporting the growers with labor through the workshare and volunteer scheme, it helps local small scale farming a more affordable task.
CSA is such an alluring idea as it seems to be the solution to so many of the problems of the global food system. It’s based on mixed farms, local production and building community.
We all know about the problems of our current food system but Frith is not about dwelling on such things, it’s about creating a positive solution and having fun whilst you’re doing it.
Proud to be local
We care about our local area and the people in it, that is why we are creating a beautiful place for people to enjoy. Our produce is exclusively for the Hull and Beverley area and only supply local independent businesses.
Our Chemical Free Farming Methods
At Frith we never use pesticides or chemical fertilisers. Our cultivation method mimics that of a natural ecosystem; we simply lay organic matter (locally produced compost) on top of the soil then plant our crops into that. This is a far more sustainable way of keeping our soil fertile and healthy; it feeds soil organisms which in turn produce everything the plant needs to thrive and produces a lovely, deep, rich, crumbly soil with lots of life.
Reduced Carbon footprint
We are always looking to reduce our carbon footprint; the compost we use is made from local organic matter and is high in carbon material such as wood chip, this decomposes over time, the carbon is then locked in the soil.
Generally, large scale farms use a nitrogen fertilisers which is produced from the Haber Bosch process, this process uses a colossal amount of fuel, around 1% of the world’s energy supply, which equates to a lot of green house gas emissions. Instead of doing this we use nitrogen fixing plants, these plants work together with soil bacteria to absorb atmospheric nitrogen, nitrogen is held in the plant, the plant then breaks down to release the nitrogen into the soil. Clever stuff eh?
The “O” word
Legally we’re not allowed to use the “O” word because we’re not certified. Organic certification can potentially cost £750 per year and will involve extra admin work. Our aim is to provide affordable organic food, having the certification will increase the price of our produce; as we already firmly believe in organic principles, nothing will change, even if we were certified. We do not see the need of paying a 3rd party to come in and give us a stamp for doing what we would do anyway. If we were veggie tycoons planning to sell our produce internationally to big chains, then we might consider the certification.
However, we are not. Our produce is exclusively for the Hull and Beverley area, we offer full transparency to our members and invite everyone to the farm to learn about our methods in the hope of developing a trusting relationship with our members.
We have a farm business tenancy agreement with Molescroft farm near Beverley. It is 5.5 acres and costs £500 a year in rent. Before we moved on the land it had not been farmed for 10 years and was in an environmental stewardship scheme for the past 5 years. This means that it was leyed down to grass and no cultivation took place which resulted in a rich soil with a good structure.
Although the soil is heavy clay it has an open structure which is good for growing the crops we want. Our no dig farming method is designed to get the most out of a rich clay soil. In our first year we test planted several different crops and all in all it was a great success as you can see from the pictures on the website and social media.
Molescroft Farm is family owned, farming over 600 hectares in the heart of East Yorkshire, of which more than 10% is managed primarily for wildlife and the environment. In conjunction with this they host educational access to the farm from schools. They have been very supportive of Frith Farm, allowing us to use the land in the first place; they also help us with tractor work and have allowed us to tap into their water supply.
History of CSA
CSA was first developed in Japan 1971, initiated by a group of women concerned about the use of pesticides, the increase in processed and imported food and the corresponding decrease in the local farm population.
The group approached a local farmer and worked out the terms of their cooperative agreement; the teikei movement was born. Literally translated teikei means “partnership” or “cooperation”, but according to teikei members the more philosophical translation is “food with the farmer’s face on it.”
The teikei farms tend to be small scale but supply large groups of urban members. Typically, members are supplied with all of their food requirements along with soap and candles from a community supported cottage industry.
Equally empowering to both community and farmers, CSA offers solutions to common problems facing farmers and communities worldwide. The concept spread through Europe, America and although a fairly recent phenomenon in Britain it is gaining in popularity.