Allotment holders in Keswick are being offered a ready market for their fruit and vegetables from a woman who has set up an eco-shop and cafe in the town.
Chinty Turnbull, who runs Chinty’s in St John’s Street, has been unable to source locally-grown organic produce and is now looking to set up a sustainable market garden project and wants green-fingered residents to make contact and get involved.
“There are at least 35 allotments within a five-minute walk from here,” she said. “I could literally walk up to them with a wheelbarrow at the end of the day and load it up with fruit and veg instead of waiting for a lorry to arrive from Kendal.”
She said she could sponsor allotment holders by buying their seeds and was prepared to enter into an arrangement where she would either buy, barter or swap.
She could take the fruit and vegetables and offer a free meal or a daily cup of coffee to the growers.”
Chinty opened her cafe and shop in February but was forced to close it down temporarily when COVID-19 struck and the country was forced into lockdown.
Instead of giving up, she decided to move her business to her home and began a delivery service.
As well as fruit and vegetables she provided other staples including milk, bread, eggs and cheese, and also made her own soup and scones.
But despite her best efforts she was unable to source locally-grown organic produce and has been forced to get items like bread from Cockermouth, eggs and cheese from Aspatria and tomatoes and green vegetables from Lancashire.
“Since we came out of lockdown we have bought a van and we are now delivering twice a week. One of the big things we do is vegetable boxes and they have really taken off because they are good value but obviously they are not local,” said Chinty.
“People have allotments because they like doing for themselves and it’s a hobby and I know organic farms have their own boxes so I can’t get involved in that.
“There is no reason why we can’t organise a situation where I can get seasonal vegetables grown locally to put in my boxes.”
Anyone wishing to get involved can contact Chinty on 74118 or email [email protected].