By Katie Grant, Marketing and Events Manager at The Fold

As Organic September kicks off we take a look at what organic is and why to choose it.

What is organic?

Many people think of the word ‘organic’ and have a general idea of it being a ‘healthy’ alternative, but don’t really know what it means. Organic agriculture in principle is a holistic approach to farming that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people.

It is based on four key principles: Health – of soil, plants, animals, humans, and the planet. Ecology – working with the living ecological systems and cycles. Care – practices that are managed in a precautionary and responsible manner to protect the health and well-being of current and future generations and the environment. Fairness – to build on relationships that ensure fairness to common environment and life opportunities.

Soil Association Standards

The Soil Association developed the world’s first organic standards in the 1960s. These rules define how an organic product must be grown, farmed, or made. They inspect the farms on a regular basis to ensure that these standards are being followed and kept to.

These include treating livestock ethically, meeting their species specific physiological and behavioural needs. – This is a higher standard than those that simply say ‘free-range’ so you know that the animals are being properly cared for and that their quality of life is high.

They also have standards to protect the environment by ensuring that farmers maximise the use of renewable resources and recycling and minimise pollution and waste in their processes.

When buying organic food look out for the Soil Association logo to know that you are buying products that have been produced in keeping with the correct high-quality organic standards.

Know what is in your food

A good way to take control of your own health and well-being is to know what you are putting into your body. Around 400 pesticides are used in farming in the UK and therefore are often found in the non-organic food sold. Many pesticides remain in some of the food we eat despite washing and cooking. Organic standards prohibit the use of toxic substances and ingredients throughout the entire production chain, therefore when you buy certified organic produce you know it is food you can trust.

Organic at The Fold

The heart of The Fold is our organic farm. We have a small team working on-site alongside volunteers and our care farm to produce organic vegetables, eggs, and occasionally fruit. We have been growing steadily in the past couple of years, whilst ensuring we have minimal impact on the local environment and keep to the high standard which has enabled us to be certified organic by the soil association.

We sell our organic produce through our weekly veg box scheme and in the farm shop, as well as supplying to local cafes and restaurants. If you would like to sign up to our veg box scheme or find out more information please click here

Alongside our own produce, we also supply other organic fruit and veg and everyday food items in out farm shop which is open Tuesday – Saturday: 9.30am – 4.30pm