All posts by fareshares

a Rough patch

The number of people buying their food at Fareshares is still quite a lot lower than before the pandemic, and meanwhile we’re doing our best to maintain or even increase the range of items available.

This, combined with other factors such as money we lose every week on unsold fresh fruit and veg, and our inefficiency in keeping prices up to date, means that our bank balance is running pretty low at the moment.

So please…

  • keep shopping!
  • let other people know about Fareshares
  • if you can, make a donation when you shop

The more help we get from our community, the better.

Meanwhile we’ll do our best to keep things going and make improvements.

If you have the time, you’re warmly invited to join us and help out as part of the collective.

Zero waste we’re not, but…

Fareshares isn’t by any stretch of the imagination zero waste. Nor is any other shop, unless they’ve built a pipeline for their oats.

Yes, when you bring your own containers and fill them from the bulk bins, as well as saving money you are indeed substantially reducing the packaging that you cause to be produced, because we’re all sharing the use of big bags or sacks rather than lots of individual packaging. But that still ain’t zero.

And of course we sell lots of things individually wrapped as well. For example, the lovely dried fruit we get from Infinity. Up until recently Infinity’s plastic film packaging has been made up of a laminate of two kinds of plastic, as they explain on their packaging FAQ page — with the result that it cannot be recycled.

But recently Infinity has started packing some of its products in pure LDPE (low-density polyethylene), which can be recycled with shopping bags at most large supermarkets. So please look out for the marking that lets you know it’s LDPE and deal with it as such.

Photo of Infinity Foods LDPE packaging
Infinity’s LDPE packaging can be recycled with plastic shopping bags and other stuff made of LDPE at many large supermarkets

Loads of things are made of LDPE, it turns out. Not just plastic shopping bags, but also bread bags, bubble wrap, cling film, freezer bags, toilet roll wrapping, and delivery bags (eg from eBay — but cut out non-removable labels). Basically, you can tell it’s LDPE if it stretches rather than splitting or tearing.

You definitely shouldn’t be putting LDPE and other plastic films in your local council’s domestic waste recycling. Almost none of them can deal with it.

You can check where your nearest LDPE “plastic bags and wrapping” recycling point is here on Recycle Now.

So yes, this is Fareshares encouraging you to go to large supermarkets. Or your local Co-op Food shop, many of which now have collection bins for soft plastics. Not necessarily to part with your money there, but definitely with your LDPE.

Fresh Fruit and Veg from 3rd February

  • Candy beetroot
  • White winter radish
  • Festival squash
  • Marfona potatoes
  • Brown mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Sweet potatoes from Spain

Apology: We ordered blood oranges but those that turned up turned out not to be blood oranges! Sorry to those who bought them and discovered this too. We are taking this up with our supplier Better Food Shed.

Yuletide and New Year opening hours

Thursday 23rd December: 2-4pm
Friday 24th December: 4-7pm
Saturday 25th December: closed

Thursday 30th December: 2-6pm
Friday 31st December: 4-6pm
Saturday 1st January: closed

We expect to be back to normal opening hours from 5th January onwards.

We wish you a happy solar new year, a jolly Yuletide, a merry Christmas, a super Saturnalia, and all the best for 2022!

Happy holly-days!

Calculators fixed!

Our calculators have little solar panels, which is great when there’s light, but inside our windowless shop there isn’t much light, especially in the darker months! So they depend on a little fallback button cell (battery). It’s a little bit tricky to get inside and replace them, but worth doing and the new cells are cheap.

So we’ll have two fully charged calculators for you to use this Thursday!

Chilled products back in stock next week

All being well we will have fridge products such as tofu, miso and spreads back in stock from next Thursday 4th November.

This is due to a customer offering to take on the job of ordering from Suma Wholefoods, after a gap of some weeks where we had no volunteer for this task.

Fareshares is entirely dependent on people volunteering their time, and we are still short of volunteers, so please do give us a hand if you can! Drop your details into the box in the shop next time you’re in.

tell your friends

It’s been great to welcome people back into Fareshares since we reopened fully for self-service back in August.

Our footfall and takings have slowly been recovering, but we’ve noticed that they still aren’t back to the sort of levels we had before the pandemic.

There will be lots of reasons why that might be. Quite a bit of it might be that some people weren’t much into being served at the door, which we did for several months, and haven’t realised that we’re open again.

And others might simply have migrated elsewhere for their food buying. There are quite a few more so-called “zero waste” (nobody is!) outlets these days, for instance.

But we’ll be surprised if people can find anywhere that offers whole organic food cheaper than Fareshares (due to our low overheads and fully volunteer staffing).

And we’d like as many people as possible to benefit from this great resource.

So please, tell your friends about Fareshares, and maybe bring them along yourself to show them how it works. (And where we are — we know, it can be a bit hard to find us!)

Vegan? plant-based? here’s something extra for you…

You’re generally onto a winner health-wise if you eat the kind of wholefood plant-based diet that Fareshares helps to support, but you can still end up deficient in some vital nutrients.

In particular you risk serious health consequences if you don’t take special steps to make sure you get enough vitamin B12 which, with very few exceptions, is not present in plant foods. Likewise it is difficult to get enough iodine from a strict plant-based diet. And everyone, irrespective of diet, should be supplementing with vitamin D between October and March in these latitudes.

As of this week Fareshares is stocking the Vegan Society’s VEG1, the nutritional supplement developed by The Vegan Society. It provides an affordable, reliable source of vitamins B12, B2, B6 and D3, folic acid, iodine and selenium, covering all your bases.

We have pots of 90 tablets (orange or blackcurrant flavours) — a three-month supply — on sale for £6.60 each, working out at around 7p a day.