1 Why Organic
Not just "why" organic, but how and where. This site hosts a useful online version of the Soil Association's Organic Directory - a searchable database providing details of almost every organic supplier in the UK - though you'll have to register to use it and the other facilities such as the forum and recipe ideas.
1 Why Organic
Not just "why" organic, but how and where. This site hosts a useful online version of the Soil Association's Organic Directory - a searchable database providing details of almost every organic supplier in the UK - though you'll have to register to use it and the other facilities such as the forum and recipe ideas. The site also has a section on nutritional advice - such as why it's important to feed your children organically - and even organic places to stay.
2 Riverford Organic Vegetables
Several colleagues rave about the quality of produce in the vegetable box delivery scheme from this Devon-based farming co-operative. Riverford focuses on southern England, but also sells to other organic delivery services, and offers an interactive local box scheme finder on its website. Riverford's vegetable boxes cost from £7 to £12.50, and the contents varies on a seasonal basis.
3 Maison Plasse
Maison Plasse's range of ready-prepared dishes is made to order in France then delivered to customers within the M25 - a process that can take 10 days, so plan ahead. Dishes include duck rillettes and boeuf bourguignon (£27 for a dish that serves six people). Round off your gastronomique feast with excellent Saint Nectaire cheese or unusual almond milk tart. Handy for impressing dinner-party guests.
Montezuma's chocolates are fun and funky without sacrificing their gourmet credentials. You'll find sophisticated handmade dark-chocolate truffles flavoured with lime, chilli and tequila as well as novelties such as chocolate fish, turtles, bears, and a create-a-kilo service where you choose the flavours. Vegan/non-dairy customers are also catered for. There's plenty of reading here too about the chocolate-making process and the company's ethical aims.
5 Pitfield Beer Shop
Samuel Smith's organic ale is specially favoured in our house, but as browsing this website reveals, there are many, many more to try. Pitfield offers more than 30 organic beers, including seven made in its own Islington brewery, which has been fully organic since 2000. Gift boxes are also available - the "Best of British" contains a selection of 11 50cl bottles from independent breweries for £34.99 plus postage.
6 Bath Organic Farms
Price should not be the main factor when choosing an organic butcher - there are other issues to consider such as length of maturation, quality of butchery, and convenience and method of delivery. However, on substantial orders, Bath Organic Farms, which matures its Hereford beef for three weeks, is cheaper than some suppliers. As well as cuts of meat, sausages, burgers and bacon are also available.
7 Jekka's Herb Farm
The award-winning Jekka's Herb Farm in South Gloucestershire has been Soil Association certified since it started way back in 1985, but the slick design of its website is totally up-to-the-minute. Order online from the comprehensive range of culinary and medicinal herb seeds and plants, download the catalogue or follow the instructions for a soothing cup of chamomile tea. You can also have your own herb garden designed.
8 Union Coffee Roasters
Some organic coffees are bad enough to have you reaching again for a jar of instant. However, at Union Roasters the quality of beans and roasting is assured. Not every product in the range is certified organic, true, but the company's strong focus on fair trade for Third World producers more than compensates. Tea, syrups, Fairtrade sugar sticks and a range of gift boxes are also available.
The Henry Doubleday Research Association has been campaigning for years to make people realise that you don't have to buy organic food from a shop - you can grow your own. This site includes gardening advice, and sells membership of the Heritage Seed Library, which gives access to heirloom varieties in the hope of keeping them alive. The site reminds us that the Victorians grew 120 different varieties of tall garden peas - now only one variety remains.
10 Daylesford Organic
This Gloucestershire farm shop café won Restaurant of the Year in the 2004 Organic Food Awards, while its sourdough took first place in the bread category. Meat, fish, cheese, wine and natural honey are all available to buy online. Daylesford's stunning, inspiring website evokes the romance of the British countryside - and you'll soon be wishing you lived next door.