Maddocks Farm Organics has been established for nearly 10 years and is a small business run by Jan Billington with part time help from her long suffering husband Stuart and reluctant children Oli and Imogen! They produce organic edible flowers and award winning organic salads and salad bags using fantastic seasonal leaves, herbs and wild foragings. The farm nestles in the beautiful Devon countryside near Kentisbeare, the gateway to the Blackdown Hills and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
A short background to the winning product
They relocated to Devon and established a small seasonal veg. box scheme. However, it became apparent after a few years that this is extremely difficult to do on a very small scale, particularly in that part of the country where there are a lot of organic growers who grow on field scale with big machinery. Secondly, the supermarkets were starting to flood the shelves with organics but organics that were flown in from all over the world but were cheaper.
They therefore decided to specialise in the niche market of growing salads, herbs and edible flowers and the business has flourished with sales to local shops, restaurants, caterers and on-line via their shop.
It is very labour intensive with all the plants being grown, hand picked and prepared and packaged by hand at the farm in Devon. They guarantee to pick the salad on the same day that it is delivered to the shops and the online products go out on an overnight courier so they are with the customer within less than 24 hours of being in the field.
Their herb salad changes with the seasons, grown either outside or in unheated polytunnels. In early spring the herbs comprise winter purslane, celery leaf, flat leaf parsley, chervil and sorrel. The judges say the salad was ‘very good, especially given the difficult season’.
As the season progresses chives dill and coriander are added to the mix and by summer the bags are fragrant with 3 different types of basil. Our judges say this salad has a ‘good mix of leaves and herbs’ and a ‘nice punch but nothing too overpowering’.
What does organic mean to you?
For us, organic growing is about so much more than simply removing chemicals from the growing process or meeting the exacting standards of the Soil Association. It is about developing an understanding of the plants that we grow, working with the seasons, improving the soil structure and letting plants mature at a pace which allows their full flavour to develop.
To find out more visit maddocksfarmorganics.co.uk
Runners up in the salad category
- Highly Commended and Commended by Consumers - Abel & Cole for their Watercress
- Highly Commended - Grow Wild Limited for their Celery
- Highly Commended and Commended by Consumers - Ocado for their Cucumber
- Highly Commended - Wight Salads for their Organic Baby Plum Tomatoes
- Commended - Maddocks Farm Organics for their Floral Seasonal Salad