Blog: Small is beautiful in the organic world

Catherine Sleep | 5 September 2006

The Soil Association has just unveiled the winners of its prestigious Organic Food Awards and I was invited to the press launch to learn first-hand who had triumphed and taste some of their products. Some of the winners were predictable but several took me by surprise. Pear and parsnip ice-cream, anyone? No, well how about some pumpkin seed butter?

It was also refreshing to see companies judged by virtues other than their turnover or accountability to shareholders. The Organic Box Scheme of the Year award was won by Amanda Goddard of Spring Grove Market Garden in Somerset. The company grows 95% of the produce for its boxes on three acres of land where Amanda and her team have planted hedges, native, fruit and nut trees, set up a beehive and keep 50 laying hens.

Their cooperative business is creative and experimental, growing heritage varieties and unusual vegetables such as purple beans, yellow courgettes, and rainbow chard. The business is very small scale, delivering just 80 boxes a week within a four-mile radius.

Yes, you read right, that’s just 80 boxes. You hear that, Tesco? This really is living the dream, I guess. The company is working to balance commercial viability with sustainable, ethical, low impact living, and it’s winning medals for it. Small can be beautiful.

Find out more about the other winners by clicking here.


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