My Organic Veg Box

There has never been a better time to go organic.  Daily we are hearing in the media of the rise in cases of obesity, and of the increase in Type II Diabetes.  For a long time the argument has been that organic food was too expensive.  This is simply not true and anyway can you put a value on well-being?

my organic veg box
My Organic Veg Box bursting with delicious fresh seasonal vegetables

My weekly veg and fruit box is always full of fresh, seasonal organic produce, grown in sustainable, eco-friendly ways that are supportive of the environment, without pesticides or chemicals or any kind.  Since they are not pumped full of water to increase the size unnaturally, the vegetables have more substance and body and do not shrink when cooked.  You get more for your money and stay full for longer as the fibre and nutritional content are higher.  An absolute bargain at £10.  And no plastic trays and shrink wrap to throw away either.  The cardboard delivery box goes back each week when the fresh box arrives, creating no waste while at the same time reducing my carbon footprint!

Most of the produce is grown locally on the organic farm in Purton, Wiltshire.  Purton House Organics  is a well-established business and has grown from strength to strength over the years through the support of its local customer group.  What started as a local veg box delivery scheme has blossomed over the years and now includes a shop with a full range of organic groceries, including bread and dairy products and more recently a cafe area. Buying fresh, local produce means that every penny you spend goes back into the loop, supporting the farm, helping it to thrive and grow , while creating more jobs and opportunities.  Green living at its best. When shopping in a supermarket, most of the profit goes elsewhere, with only a very small percentage benefiting the local economy.  So your food may be a tiny bit cheaper, but all the profits go somewhere else.  There is no way of knowing if the producers are being paid a fair wage or treated with respect.

In the winter months, some of the fruit comes from other countries of course, like oranges, grapefruit and bananas, this is inevitable.  But most of the home grown winter warmers in the form of hearty root vegetables, carrots, swede, parsnips, along with leeks, sprouts, cabbage and kale, are available right through until the Spring.  My kale plants in my garden planters got me through the winter and kept my quota of greens topped up, and my ruby chard amongst my flower borders has also survived and is throwing out again nicely.

More and more local organic producers are getting up and running.  Have a look around your home area, you may be surprised.  If not, there’s always Abel & Cole or Riverford Organic .

Do please leave the name of  your local scheme in the comments box to share with others!

Whats is GOTS?

If you are at all concerned about the possible health implications to your family of the number of chemicals in the home and in particular used in the processing of textiles for clothing and home furnishings you may have already come across the letters GOTS. But what do they stand for and what does it mean to us as “shoppers”.

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a tool for an international common understanding of environmentally friendly production systems and social accountability in the textile sector;  it covers the  production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labelling, exportation, importation and distribution of all natural fibres.  In brief, this means that all dyestuffs are free of AZO colorants, heavy metals and other chemicals of concern, and no chemicals are used during weaving or finishing which might harm you, so you can use any fabric which has been GOTS certified knowing that it is safe for you and your family.  For a full list of things that are specifically prohibited and much more go to the Global Standards website.

A fabric which is produced to the GOTS is more than just a fabric.  It’s a promise to keep our air and water pure through high standards.  Mills are required to treat wastewater and return it back into the system at drinking water quality. At  this point in time an organic fabric processed to these standards is the safest, most responsible choice possible in terms of both stewardship of the earth and preserving health for both ourselves and future generations by limiting toxicity and reducing carbon footprint.  Growing organic fibres also helps to maintain balance of the soil. Thank goodness for companies like OEcotextiles who are committed to producing fabrics that are safe for our families and for the world.

Organic hemp curtains and cushion
Organic Hemp Curtains and Cushion in Mist Grey and Alabaster White – fabric by OEcotextiles

Finally the standards ensure that workers are treated well and are paid fair wages. Working conditions are good (such as air purification systems, adequate light and ventilation) and child labour is not permitted.  Hard to believe that this is not always the case in the 21st century!

Surely we all want the same thing, a healthy home for our children to thrive in.  There is great power in our decisions, in the choices we make every day.  Sometimes it seems as if our lifestyle is in direct conflict with the well-being of the planet and all eco systems. How can we become more green in the home when it fells like there is limited time and income at our disposal?  But it is important to remember that we do have a choice, and by choosing where we spend our money we make a direct contribution to the changes we wish to see in the world, we must be the change.