SHOP LOCALLY, ETHICALLY + SUSTAINABLY AT YOUR LOCAL FARM SHOP
Do you like the idea of giving your family fresh, good quality food while also supporting small businesses – many of whom are run by fellow parents – helping local farmers get a fair price for their wares while also doing your bit for the environment?
As Londoners, we aren’t exactly tripping over farmers looking to sell their goods, which is where a service like Farmdrop comes in.
Farmdrop is on something of a crusade to fix what they consider the broken food chain.
Did you know that most of the food in the supermarket is sourced from miles away and that farmers generally only receive a third of the food’s shelf price?
So a farmer sells a butternut squash to one of the big retailers for under £1, who in turn sell it on for £3 meaning the person producing the food only receives a third of the shelf price.
Farmdrop is unique in that it ensures farmers are paid 75% of the retail price meaning the farmer can afford to continue doing what he or she does best – growing delicious, fresh, healthy and, most of the time, organic food.
Farmers, supermarkets, crops – it can all feel a little distant so we spoke to Rowie, one of the Farmdrop farmers, to see how you and I using something like Farmdrop can make a difference to her and her family:
Where is your farm?
Neatly located between Swindon and the Cotswolds.
What’s the history of the farm?
We moved here as a family from Sussex in 1975 when my mother ran the farm and she had pigs and cattle.
We weren’t organic then but the farm was very extensive and we had some arable (plant) crops too. I took over the running of the farm in 1992 with my three daughters and haven’t looked back.
What do you farm?
I’m a big believer in small-scale mixed farming where animals, crops and thriving wildlife all work in natural harmony with each other.
On the 150-acre farm we grow our own organic vegetables all year round, with lots of leafy greens and root veg in the winter and lettuces, tomatoes and chillies in the summer.
We produce free-range organic eggs from around 800 laying chickens that roam around freely during the day and sleep in mobile sheds at night. It’s a very free-range system – the pigs express their own natural behaviour by digging around and love a wallow in mud.
I’m passionate about what it means to be an organic farmer and wouldn’t have it any other way. I love seeing the beauty of nature taking it’s own protective course - for example when ladybirds put an end to an infestation of aphids on my broad beans!
This is nature looking after itself, keeping things in balance. We’ve held organic status for just over 20 years and our variety veg box won a Soil Association Gold Award.
What difference has Farmdrop made to you?
They have helped me to have other outlets.
Before, what we were selling in our farm shop really wasn’t enough to warrant having beef and pork consistently available every week and now meat is a permanent fixture in my farm shop - this is all thanks to the fact that by now selling most of our produce via Farmdrop, we can stock our farm shop.
One main thing that’s really helped us is that with Farmdrop we get guaranteed orders - money is paid the following week and I’m not spending time out of the fields chasing payments.
The world would be a tastier place if…
Everybody cooked from scratch rather than relying on processed foods so much - there is so much you can do with really good basic ingredients.
There’s lots to enjoy when it comes to raw food and vegetable-based dishes using incredibly fresh ingredients that taste like they’re supposed to.
Becoming a Farmdrop customer is simple:
They sell as much as your local supermarket including:
Fruit + Veg
Dairy + Eggs
Baby + Kids Toiletries
and more except buying with Farmdrop means you’re supporting small businesses and shopping more consciously.
There’s no minimum spend and orders under £30 come with a £3 charge. Spend over £30 and book in a 6-hour time slot and delivery is free.
This time slot works best if you have a flexible schedule and you’ll be sent an ETA for your delivery so you don’t have to be in all day.
If you are busy or your day is more structured, it’s best to book a 1-hour time slot (£3) so they can plan delivery around your schedule.
Your fresh food will be harvested to order, directly from local producers and Farmdrop will deliver your food to your work or home (in a 100% electric van) the same day they receive it.
If the thought of all this fresh food and veg intimidates you, Farmdrop has a fabulous recipes section so you won’t be stuck if you’ve ordered a new ingredient and suddenly realised you don’t know what to do with it.
We’ve teamed up with Farmdrop to offer THE LONDON MOTHER readers an exclusive offer: