Way back in the mid nineties a group of like minded people with small businesses mainly in the Manchester area, either organic box schemes or wholefood shops, met together and decided to create a members co-op, to overcome the logistical problems of collecting organic produce from local farms. By working together one van went to the farms, rather than each business sending a van and Organic 2000Ltd was born. In addition to collecting produce from local growers the members were able to import fruit & other produce during the leaner periods of the British growing season. Organic 2000Ltd now trades as Organic North and Foodlife was one of the founding members all those years ago. Organic North still operates as a distribution hub and is a vital link, being mutually beneficial for Growers and independent retailers. Here are some of the fabulous farms that grow the fantastic UK fruit & vegetables we have in our organic boxes.
Growers & Producers
Royal Oak Farm is a 300 acre family run Organic farm in Bickerstaffe, near Ormskirk, which is farmed by Peter Lydiate his partner Cheryl and his brother. They produce a wide variety of crops including potatoes, squashes, broccoli, kales, cabbages to name just a few. They are lucky to have a really good soil which is so dark in places it makes the unwashed potatoes look black. At the same time this soil also gives a fantastic flavour to all the crops grown in it. www.facebook.com/royaloakorganics
Libby & Paul Flintoff run Brook House Farm, which is a 4.5 acre Organic farm on the Fylde plain near Garstang, just north of Preston. The soil is a silty, clay loam, fertile, but slow to drain in an area of high rainfall. Libby and Paul began cropping organically in 1996 and are well known for their fantastic quality produce, much of it grown in polytunnels. Libby’s crops include, cabbages, beans, spinach, beetroot, onions and aubergines.
Moss Brook Growers farm a 21 acre site situated near Glazebury, a village to the south of Leigh in the borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester. Moss Brook growers are Rob, Carl & Stuart and they operate as a workers co-operative. They grow, spinach, garlic, beetroot, celery, celeriac, leeks, kale, squash and broccoli. www.mossbrookgrowers.co.uk
Daniel Gielty runs Organic Dan, a family-run organic farm close to Peat Moss in Lancashire. It has been a working farm for over 100 years. Organic Dan grows, bunched beetroot, cabbages, onions and carrots.
Organic pantry is a 300 acre organic family run farm, based at Newton Kyme, near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire. The Watson Family have been at the farm for over 100 years. Their organic produce has been fully certified with the Soil Association since 1999. Organic Pantry grow many crops including spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, kale, cabbages and asparagus. www.theorganicpantry.co.uk
Glebelands is a pioneering urban growing project on the banks of the Mersey in Sale, producing organic food for consumption within Greater Manchester. Glebelands City Growers provides a working example of sustainable food production in an urban environment. Their mission is to challenge perceptions about how food is produced and inspire people towards positive change. They aim to increase awareness and understanding of truly sustainable food production through education and by providing training and volunteer opportunities. Amongst other crops, Glebelands produce some fantastic salad and herbs. www.glebelandscitygrowers.co.uk
Barry Ward & Yvonne Thompson’s vegetable growing started out as a hobby (for their own consumption) but then they realised they were actually quite good at it, and in 1984 they went professional. Now the two of them farm 3.2 acres of organic land in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, with about 1000 square metres under cover. The soil is a very fine sandy loam, easy to work when dry but prone to waterlogging in winter. The superb quality organic crops from Ward & Thompson include lettuces, broadbeans, spring onions and radishes.
Terry Simpson is a small local organic grower from Scarisbrick, near Ormskirk. Terry supplies us with some great, salad leaves, carrots, potatoes, herbs, beetroot & spinach.