Over the past few weeks, we’ve been flexing our Dear Green fingers and we stopped by The Wash House Garden to get our hands dirty and lend a helping hand.
Having donated to the garden over the past few years through our commitment to 1% For The Planet, it was fantastic to finally get the opportunity to see how our donation has made a positive impact to the community.
With most of the team having little to no experience when it comes to gardening, the team at The Wash House gardens had a job on their hands putting us through our paces, rewarding us with unlimited cups of tea for our hard work.
Agriculture is, of course, a huge part of the coffee supply chain, and with the majority of the team having never visited a coffee farm, it was great to gain some basic experience of growing, harvesting and planting, albeit with slightly different crops.
These volunteering sessions really got us thinking about the length and the disconnect of the supply chain, and also the discussion of fair pay and price transparency. Coffee farms are geographically very far away from us and therefore also create a sort of mental distance. Because farming here and in general is so industrialised this can allow us to think about how crucial it is for us to support small farmers and their love of farming (in Scotland and elsewhere).
Our coffee growers are already affected by the climate changing, whether it is frost in Brazil, insect infestations and pests increasing or the rainy season not starting at the same time in the year anymore. And if you ask, maybe WHG notices the effects on their field as well due to climate change.
Farmers work from day to day and know the weather the best but what is shifting is the overall climate, which makes it harder to trust the weather and their own knowledge.
These trips form part of our long-term commitment to community engagement. We hope to arrange future volunteering trips in the future, not just at The Wash House Garden, but also with other community projects.
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