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Sourcing good quality fruit and vegetables locally

Sourcing good quality local fruit and vegetables locally

Sourcing good quality local fruit and vegetables locally 

In our mission to explore good quality food sources, we have been speaking with local growers and suppliers of food who we hope to be able to connect with and recommend here in on our Health blog. By doing the background research and establishing those retailers who are doing things better or differently, we are aiming to make your task of finding high quality produce a little easier. 

If you have been keeping up with previous articles on our blog you will already know that much of the fresh fruit and vegetables we consume within this country is contaminated by a weed killer called Round Up. The weedkiller has been widely condemned by many industry experts, with petitions being raised that have gathered millions of signatures calling for its use to be halted. Despite concerns, particularly relating to the development of chronic health issues in the population, Round Up is still widely used to this day. 

Finding alternatives isn’t an easy task, given that organic produce is higher in price. The term ‘organic’ is also ambiguous, given that it means something different in every country of origin. 

On our search, we came across a local farmer in Knutsford, Cheshire who is doing just that. David and Rebecca, who run Groobarbs Wild Farm took the time out to talk to us to explain why they are on a mission to do things a little differently, and the reasons why they are so passionate about producing fruit and vegetables that offer a truly viable alternative to what is available in the supermarkets. 

As you will see from visiting their website, David and Rebecca do a lot of hand weeding to ensure that their produce is fresh and as tasty as possible. Click here to watch a short video of their farming methods. 

Sourcing good quality local fruit and vegetables locally ​

When we asked farmer David what he had to say about his approach to farming, given that the majority of the fruit and vegetables consumed within the UK (and the wider world) is contaminated with herbicide and pesticides, this was his thoughtful and inspiring response… 

"I was told at University in 1999 by the lecturer for agriculture that if you drank 2 litres of round up you would be fine, but if you drank 2 litres of whisky you might die. How times have changed when the WHO recently communicated information that it could be a carcinogen. 

For years I have seen farmers being very liberal in their approach to round up, spraying all over the place with no regard for safety in the blind optimism that everything was fine. Well, I always had a reluctance and fundamental disagreement with this approach. 

The problem is the media have jumped on it and rational points of view are few and far between with regard to Roundup.

The latest information I have is that it is not the active ingredient itself that is the problem but a “wetter” that you have to use with the active ingredient to make the roundup stick to the plants and work more effectively. The sticky nature of the combined substance hangs around the plants and environment longer. 

1,000’s all over the western world are applying Round Up – including the wetter substance – to crops that are ready for harvest. The pesticide is being sprayed directly on the seeds that we all end up eating. This has been going on in farming for at least the last 20 years. In my view, this is the problem with Round Up and the fact that all farmers and the industry thought it was all hunky dory. Well, it's not.

The sad thing is that the media have jumped on Round Up yet far worse pesticides are used regularly and do not get media attention. 

Just a couple of examples of how we farm, we use a mechanical tractor hoe to stop the weeds when the plants are present and then finish off with hand weeding and we use an organic registered pesticide to control insects, which is 69 times more expensive to apply than a commercial pesticide that which I guess about 95% of other farmers use. I like to talk about these things as not many others want to.

The way we farm is not organic registered yet, but we are learning how to grow over 40 of our crops using naturally produced safe products as our standard method. It is not easy. But if commercial farmers continue to spray produce when it is near or ready to harvest, then in my view that is foolish and is not providing safe food for people."

Sourcing good quality local fruit and vegetables locally 

Having received their vegetable box for the last two months, I can definitely vouch for the quality, freshness and taste that is simply not present in anything bought from even the most expensive supermarket offerings. 

Groobarbs offer hand picked vegetable boxes delivered to your door on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis and you can choose from small, medium, or large, as well as juice boxes for juicing. And whilst they are not claiming to be an organic farm, they are moving towards this and are at present offering a viable alternative to anyone who is wishing to make a more conscious, informed choice about what they are putting into their body. 

Thank you to Groobarbs for taking the time to comment and may we wish you many years of success. 

In future articles, we will be exploring and reviewing other local producers and retailers who are bucking the trend and doing things differently. 

Sourcing good quality local fruit and vegetables locally ​

 

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