As consumers, we’re becoming ever more aware of where our food comes from and the process it goes through from farm to fork. Luckily for people in Gloucestershire, the farming industry is rather ahead of the curve, having farmed organically for at least 30 years.
By encouraging wildlife and cutting the use of pesticides and chemicals on our locally-produced food and drink, Gloucestershire’s organic producers have made a name for themselves by creating great tasting treats, that also adhere to organic standards.
Operating as an organic farm since 1991, Abbey Home Farm in Cirencester is made up of 650 hectares, used for growing crops and farming sheep, cows and pigs.
Abbey Home Farm’s award-winning farm shop is ideal for those wanting to purchase fresh organic food which has been grown on site, as well as organic store cupboard supplies, organic ice cream, skincare, alcohol and Fairtrade food and gifts.
There’s even an onsite café which is certified to serve organic produce.
Having created a delicious milk drink using just four entirely natural ingredients, BAM organic burst onto the health food scene with its three delicious flavours, Chocolate, Vanilla and Banana.
The Cheltenham-based company came up with the idea of creating a healthier milk drink during a European road trip, and to this day, creates BAM organic without using refined sugars, artificial preservatives, or colourings.
BAM can be purchased from a number of leading supermarkets, Selfridges, WH Smith, in Virgin Active gyms and online.
Daylesford Organic, near Kingham, is an award-winning farm shop and cafe that has an on-site dairy and creamery, farm kitchens and organic animals that roam freely on the surrounding organic pastures.
Its café serves up organic breakfasts, lunches and traditional afternoon teas, while the on-site farm shop stocks organic meat, breads, dairy products and larder goods; alongside a range of organic gifts for both the home and garden.
In addition to its shop, Daylesford offers cookery courses and workshops for green-fingered gardeners.
Trailblazers in organic farming, Ivor and Suzie Dunkerton – the founders of Dunkertons Organic Cider, were originally inspired by their love of nature. The couple created a unique cider without using chemicals or concentrates, and by 1988, Dunkertons Cider was awarded Soil Association certification, and has been officially organic ever since.
Stocking a range of tasty tipples from dry cider, through to perry and even mulled cider, the brand’s range is ever expanding. Following its move to the specially developed site in Dowdeswell Park, Dunkertons Organic Cider launched an on-site shop in 2018, and also offers cider tours and tastings throughout the year.
The home of award-winning organic Cotswold cheeses, Simon Weaver follows a traditional method of organic farming, with his herd enjoying a ‘forage-based diet’, which he believes contributes to his great tasting cheese.
The Simon Weaver creamery is located on the farm, in the village of Upper Slaughter, meaning the milk travels just five miles between the milking shed and the creamery.
So precise is the farm’s organic cheese recipe, its cheesemakers leave their mobile phones outside the creamery door to ensure complete concentration during the cheesemaking process.
From its home in Newent, The Authentic Bread Company is a family business, started by former telecommunications engineer Alan Davis. Turning his passion for baking into a business, the organic bakery was born in 1995, and has continued to grow ever since.
Now supplying farm shops in Oxfordshire, Wales, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, the company’s delicious breads, cakes, pastries and chilled good are also available through Abel and Cole, and in national chain Budgens.
With the exception of some of its cakes and pastries, The Authentic Bread company’s products are vegan, and is a vegetarian company. It also offers a range of yeast, wheat and gluten free products.
Growing and pressing juice from its unsprayed orchards, Day’s Cottage is an award-winning family business, based in Brookthorpe in Gloucester.
Stocking apple juice, cider, pear juice and perry, the firm promises that one kilogram of fresh fruit fills each of its bottles, and that no sprays, chemicals or artificial fertilisers are used in its orchards.
Day’s Cottage drinks are available directly from its farm, Stroud farmer’s market, and are also sold in local health food shops around Gloucester and Stroud.
Producing delicious organic beers since it launched in Thrupp back in 2006, Stroud Brewery has now extended its range to include a popular selection of cask, keg, bottled and canned beers, which are sold across the country.
The award-winning brewery is moving to a new three-storey, purpose-built brewery and waterfront bar, set to open at the start of 2019. The Brewery also offers tours and tasting sessions, and even runs a beer club – allowing fans of Stroud Brewery’s organic beer to enjoy discounts on their purchases.
With around 4,000 Lohmann Brown birds in its flock, Overton Organic Eggs has its work cut out collecting the thousands of eggs laid by its happy hens.
Based in Arlingham, close to the River Severn, the company is operated by husband and wife team Andrew and Lucy Martin.
The high welfare standards of Overton’s hens is governed by the Soil Association, and sees its birds given access to 10 acres of space with organic feed. Overton’s eggs are sold at many of the county’s farmer’s markets and at Gloucester Services.
A true Cotswold family business, Hobbs House Bakery was formed back in the 1920s, and now has five generations of baking experience., with the sixth currently being trained up!
Endorsed by the Soil Association, Hobbs House stocks a huge number of organic loaves, including its light rye sourdough, five seed spelt, wholemeal sourdough and wild white sourdough.
Alongside its exceptional pastries, confectionery and high-quality bread selection, Hobbs House is also known for being the bakery behind television double act, The Fabulous Baker Brothers – Tom and Henry Herbert.
Farming at Hardwicke Farm in Gloucestershire for three generations, Jess’s Ladies Organic Farm Milk is operated by Jess Vaughan, and of course her herd of 80 cows – The Ladies.
Jess believes that ‘nature is best’ and so the firm does not homogenise its milk and is totally traceable. Jess’s Ladies graze on the farm’s organic pastures, and the milk is bottled on site, in Gloucestershire.
The firm sells its milk in one-litre bottles, as well as a range of yoghurts and creams.
Stocking its organic meats at farmers’ markets in Stroud, Cheltenham and Thornbury, Adey’s Farm in Berkeley produces Gloucester Old Spot pork, bacon, gammon and sausages; Aberdeen Angus beef; and Suffolk and Hampshire lamb.
Operated by husband and wife Caroline and Tim Wilson, Adey’s Farm is
certified by the Soil Association to produce a range of organic meats.
The 500-acre organic farm says its animals lead ‘as natural a life as is possible, with little stress and plenty of space.’
By Melissa Hamblett
Thursday 05 December 2019
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