It all started with a field of carrots that grew beautifully long and straight and tasted exactly as a carrot should - all without the chemical intervention. It was then that Charles Bennett, way back in the 1980's, decided to go organic, receiving certification in 1988.
But growing organically is about much more than just being ‘pesticide free’
Encourages biodiversity: organic farmers want to encourage a wide variety of wildlife to their land in order to create a ‘natural balance’ in the farm’s ecosystem. Each bird, bug, bee and beetle is important - as nature’s pest controllers, as pollinators, because they create irrigation channels in the soil or attract predators who in turn keep the caterpillars off the cabbages…. each species has a role to play. Organic growers do not use pesticides and therefore rely on this balance to keep pests under control and promote soil health. We take the time to create natural environments to attract wildlife - whether it's beetlebanks, tree planting, or nettle patches left to their own devices - this even extends to actually attracting pests to certain areas so that there is a good source of food for those valuable predatory insects. When a void appears in this natural balance, it is usually filled by something undesirable and hard to get rid of! The result is that organic farms are biologically diverse and full of life, above and below the ground. In fact, Soil Association research shows that on average, plant, insect and birdlife is 50% more abundant on organic farms.
Better for the planet: Because organic farmers must build their own soil fertility rather than adding it in with fertilisers, the soil has to be healthy and full of life. So, rather than importing synthetic nitrogen, organic farmland is nourished with clover rich ‘fertility leys’ which take nitrogen from the air, ‘fixing’ it in the root system which is then incorporated into the soil. These fertile ‘living’ soils also store or ‘sequester’ more carbon from the atmosphere, crucial in our fight against climate change.
Promotes seasonal eating: eating seasonally means eating what’s available for harvest at that moment rather than importing produce from elsewhere. Organic growers work with nature and the seasons to grow their veg, thereby encouraging a close connection to the land and what is available to eat right then and there. Making your food choices according to what is in season (wherever possible) reduces the carbon footprint caused importing produce from other parts of the world.
Higher animal welfare standards: animals reared to an organic standard means they are truly free range and encouraged to roam and forage and express their natural behaviours. Ensuring animals have a good life is at the heart of organic meat production. The meat from grass-fed animals also has much higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids.
It tastes better! We believe that organic food is just tastier. Our own veg is freshly harvested and sold within a week so doesn't degrade through long storage. Ok, the veg might be a little wonky and knobbly and still have a bit of soil attached but this ‘perfectly imperfect’ produce was grown for flavour and is just as nature intended.