Our Farmers
and Growers

Farmers and food producers who come to our market or supply our veg scheme - or both.

The bag scheme sources fruit and veg from as close to Hackney as possible. We grow Hackney Salad right here on our Patchwork Farm, and tomatoes, beans, chard, aubergines, chillies and more on our Dagenham Farm. We are committed to working with small-scale organic and biodynamic farmers and growers from the areas closest to London. Most of these are in Kent, Essex, Cambridgeshire and East Anglia. We supplement the bags with fruit and veg from further afield when local produce is not available.

For an up-to-date list of which producers will be at the market each Saturday, sign up for our weekly email.

Ripple Farm
Martin Mackey

Ripple Farm is a small organic, horticultural farm of 14 acres situated in the Stour Valley at Crundale, Kent. Martin Mackey and his team grow a wide range of vegetables, salad crops, herbs and some soft fruit. Martin's particular passion is potatoes: he grows more than 15 different organic varieties. His favourite potato? Arran Victory.

 

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Farmers' market: weekly

Crundale, Canterbury, Kent, CT4 7EB, 01227 732208

Wild Country Organics
Adrian Izzard

Adrian Izzard grows a wide range of organic salad leaves (which won the award for best fresh food at the Soil Association Organic Awards in 2014) and Asian greens such as pak choi, tatsoi, mustard leaves and coriander in his unheated glasshouses at Great Abingdon, Cambridgeshire. He has recently taken on another 30 acres of land to grow field crops, so is producing root veg, such as parsnips and beetroot, for the box scheme and market. He grows a gorgeous range of tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers and aubergines, all of which he brings to the farmers' market in season.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer
Farmers' market: weekly

11 Chalky Road, Great Abington, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB21 6AT

Brockmans Organic
Patrick Brockman

Patrick Brockman grows biodynamic vegetables on his farm near Canterbury.  The farm was started by his father and has been growing biodynamically since the 1950s.  Patrick produces a wide range of veg including salad leaves, brassicas, herbs, potatoes, beetroot and carrots. He also produces aubergines, peppers and chillies in his polytunnel in the summer. In spring and summer, they sell a wide range of veg and herb seedlings for you to grow at home - including tomatoes, beans and sweetcorn.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Farmers' market: weekly

Garlinge Green Canterbury CT4 5RU 01227 732001

Sarah Green's Organics
Sarah Green

Sarah Green's Organics is situated in Tillingham, on the Dengie Peninsula in Essex, 50 miles east of London. She grows a wide selection of seasonal organic vegetables on her 30-acre farm and harvests the vegetables fresh from the field specifically to order. Sarah is a regular supplier to the veg scheme and also supplies several of the other Better Food Traders with veg for their box schemes. Sarah is particularly proud of her purple-sprouting broccoli, broad beans, sweetcorn and caulis, including romanescu and purple varieties. 

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Hall Farm, Tillingham Essex CMO 7ST Twitter @Sally4Green 01621 778844

Yorwarth's
Martin Yorwarth

Martin has two small boats, the Jessie Alice and Christine Cara, which are berthed at Newhaven and catch fish in the channel and North Sea. He has been fishing since he got his first commercial boat at 14 and started fishing on the Thames Estuary. Martin and his partner Wendi pride themselves on day-caught fish being supplied into London straight from the boat, sometimes within 10 hours. Fish will vary with the seasons, but will include Dover and lemon sole, mackerel, scallops, squid, plaice, huss, gurnard, whiting, John Dory, monkfish, turbot, cod and skate. They also smoke their own fish.

Farmers' market: weekly

c/o Growing Communities

Galileo Farm
Fabienne and Simon Peckham

Fabienne and Simon Peckham run Galileo Farm – a small family organic farm on the Fosse Way in Warwickshire, south of Leamington. Their livestock includes grass-fed beef cattle and sheep, geese, turkeys, chickens, ducks and pigs so they sell chicken, poultry, pork and beef as well as eggs. They started the farm from scratch nearly 20 years ago on 30 acres and have built up their beef and sheep herds by renting grazing land adjacent to the farm. The farm has extremely high animal welfare standards – this is Fabienne and Simon’s top priority.  The farm only sells direct.

Farmers' market: weekly 

Hook and Son
Phil Hook

Phil Hook and his son Steve have a small organic dairy farm in East Sussex near Hailsham. They produce raw milk from their 75 Friesians and make cream and butter too. They also sell rose veal. The farm has been in their family for 250 years and their organic farm teems with a wide variety of flora and fauna. "We consider the cows' welfare and health are paramount," says Phil. "Cows in a conventional herd produce nearly 50% more milk than those farmed organically. This means our cows are not under so much pressure and stress as those in a conventional herd and are less prone to mastitis and lameness. Indeed, our cows on average live to be eight or nine years old, compared to the national average of six years old."

Farmers' market: weekly

Longleys Farm, Harebeating Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1ER   01323 449494

Bath Soft Cheese
Hugh Padfield

Hugh Padfield's family have been raising cattle and making cheese at the 300-acre Park Farm in Somerset for three generations. The Bath Soft Cheese Company now makes a range of organic, pasteurised cheeses that have won awards up and down the country. They sell their Bath Soft, Bath Blue and Wyfe of Bath, a hard cheese, at the market.

Farmers' market: weekly

Park Farm, Kelston ,Bath BA1 9AG    01225 331601

The Mushroom Table
William Rooney

William Rooney grows organic oyster and other exotic mushrooms at his small farm in Great Bromley, Essex. He also brings wild mushrooms to the market in season including puffballs, chicken of the woods and woodear, as well as making delicious mushroom sandwiches while you wait. He also brings other seasonal goodies to the market, including wild leaves and flowers in summer and birch sap in spring - which is said to boost the body's cleansing properties. He also leads foraging walks around his home in Essex - visit his website for details.

Farmers' market: weekly

Morants Cottage, Colchester Road, Great Bromley, Essex CO7 7TN   01206 231660
Twitter @mushroomtable

Astons Bakehouse
Syd Aston

Syd Aston's range of organic bread includes sourdoughs, walnut levain, spelt sourdoughs, sourdough rye, multi-grain cobs, cholla, as well as traditional soda breads and croissants. He makes excellent Eccles cakes, mince pies, lardy cakes and crodos (a tasty merging of a croissant with a doughnut) too.

Farmers' market: weekly

Sheepdrove Farm, Lambourn, Berkshire RG17 7UU   01488 674717

Niko B Organic Chocolates
Anthony Ferguson

Master chocolatier Anthony Ferguson has been satisfying chocoholics on both sides of the Atlantic for nearly a decade with memorably addictive creations. Chocolates from Niko B (named after his son) are 100% organic and handmade in Hackney. Using only Soil Association certified chocolate, fruits, nuts, herbs, spices and flowers, as well as organic British cream and butter, the adventurous range includes exotic truffles, caramelised nuts, oozing nougats, salted caramel brownies and decadent ganache-filled, liqueur-soaked figs.

Farmers' market: weekly

Global Fusion
Colga Parker

Global Fusion is a small family business run by Colga Parker. She makes a wide range of traditional creole soda breads flavoured with fruit and spices and vegan fritters with her famous hot sauce. All her products are vegan and she uses organic flour and biodynamic wholemeal flour sourced from Perrycourt Farm. Colga will also bake birthday and celebration cakes to order. Check their website for details.

Farmers' market: weekly

 

0208 252 4066

Hatice Trugrul

Hatice Trugrul makes her traditional Turkish borek or gozleme (a type of folded pancake) using organic ingredients such as spinach and mushrooms sourced from the organic farmers at the market. Hatice lives locally and is one of the ultra local producers we've worked with to help them get into sustainable food production.

Farmers' market: weekly

c/o Growing Communities

Pear Necessities
Antony Froggatt

Pear Necessities sells organic pears at the market from September through to Christmas from their small organic pear orchard near Goudhourst in Kent.  The 10 acre orchard grows four varieties of pear: Conference, Comice, Packham and Concorde. Pear Necessities is a partnership established in 2008 to convert an existing conventionally farmed orchard to organic methods. Pear Necessities aim to grow fruit using carbon-conserving methods of feeding and disease control.  The farm received full organic status in August 2010 and is now planting a new fruit and nut orchard in a 7 acre pasture beside the existing pear orchard. In years to come they will be harvesting (and selling!) apples, plums, cherries, figs, apricots and more.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Farmers' market: seasonal (usually from September to December)

Antony 07968 805299

Peach and Pippin
Rebecca Leek and Ian Warder

Peach and Pippin is the new incarnation of Marina O'Connell's smallholding in Manningtree, Essex - four acres of organic paradise, a teaching centre, a woodland, an orchard, a food provider, an incubator, a spreader of goodwill and a home. The family-run enterprise was set up by Ian and Rebecca who live with their three young daughters, Romily, Miriam and Gwendolyn. Both Ian and Rebecca are teachers but also have a habit of complicating their lives with social enterprises, green projects, apple pressing extravaganzas, and lots of gardening. 

Ian has a history in environmental education and enterprise, teaches mindfulness, meditation and Chi Gung, and plants marigolds wherever he goes. Rebecca works in education as a system leader for a multi-academy trust although originally trained in music and arts leadership. She drives an electric car and makes a mean chocolate brownie.

Rebecca and Ian saw that the Apricot Centre and all its wonderful orchards and spaces was for sale. Ian had always wanted a van and Rebecca dungarees. It seemed the perfect match.

Follow @peachandpippin on Twitter and Instagram.

Farmers' market: seasonal (usually soft fruit from June/July, plums, apples and more from August to December)

83 Hungerdown Lane Manningtree Essex, CO11 2LY

Mobile: 07890032475

Alison's Organics
Alison Bond

Alison is an organic grower and ceramicist based on a smallholding in Lawford, Essex, where she grows fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs certified to biodynamic Demeter standards. She makes a range of jams and chutneys, which are available for sale alongside the honey from her resident beehives.

Farmers' market: seasonal (usually summer and Christmas)

Contact via Growing Communities

Stour Valley Organic Lavender Company
Mark de Roy

Mark and Adrienne de Roy grow organic lavender in the Stour Valley on the borders of Essex and Suffolk.  They distill their own essential oils from English and French lavender which is the base for all their products. They sell soaps, handcreams and the lavender oil itself as well as more unusual products such as lavender honey, lavender marmalade and lavender shortbread.

Farmers' market: monthly (usually the third Saturday of the month)

Copperas Wood Farm Wrabness Road, Ramsey Essex CO12 5NE 01255 880731

Re:Organics
James Venoit

In James Venoit’s Hackney production kitchen, specially imported Korean stoneware jars filled with fermenting kimchi are lined up next to cloudy bell jars of kombucha. James set up Re:Organics to produce kombucha, kimchi and kefir from seasonal organic and biodynamic ingredients inspired by his time in Korea learning from traditional kimchi and kombucha makers. Re: Organics sources seasonal produce from Growing Communities’ farmers including Adrian Izzard and Hook & Son. Because of their small batch production, they can vary flavours and ingredients as the new produce comes along. Recent products include a cucumber and mint based kombucha, a strawberry and rhubarb milk kefir, and a beetroot kimchi, which combines traditional fermentation techniques with the best seasonal locally grown ingredients.

Farmers' market: weekly

Honey Hydrant
Eric Beaumont

Eric Beaumont is a Hackney-based bee-keeper who sells honey and beeswax from hives in Hackney, Walthamstow, Tottenham Marshes, Stoke Newington, Epping and Dagenham at our market on a seasonal basis. He also often has comb honey and baker's honey (slightly too "wet" and often starting to ferment - perfect for cooking). He is always at the market in late autumn and in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and often has a stall at other times of year too. The Dagenham honey is made in hives set up by Eric on our Dagenham Farm.

Farmers' market: fortnightly until the honey runs out  

Contact via Growing Communities

Tim Cowen
Tim Cowen

Tim keeps bees that produce delicious Hackney honey. He also makes exquisite bowls, boards, ornaments, lip balm boxes and more using wood from fallen Hackney trees, which he sells at the market during December.

Dagenham Farm
Alice Holden and Ashlea Fern

Alice and Ashlea from our Dagenham Farm grow a lot of produce for the veg scheme: salad and leafy greens, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, rhubarb and herbs.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Capel Mushrooms
Patrick and Damien Hearne

Capel Mushrooms, in Suffolk, supplies our veg scheme with mushrooms all year round. It is very much a family run business, initially set up by Peter Hearne, when he purchased his first site, Churchford Grange, in 1962.

Of his eight children, three work on the farm, and two have run or still run mushroom farms of their own.  Capel Mushrooms is now run by the founder’s sons, Damian and Patrick Hearne. In 1988 the decision was made to go organic. In all likelihood this makes them the first organic mushroom farm in the UK.

Closed cap white mushrooms, brown cap, portabello and portabellini mushrooms are grown on Organic compost at the site in Capel St Mary.

Capel mushrooms are particularly proud of their compost making facility, as most mushroom farms will buy in ready-made compost. The base material is wheat straw which, of course, must come from organically grown wheat. At the end of the mushroom cropping cycle most of the spent mushroom compost is sent to nearby Home Farm at Nacton, who also occasionally supply our veg scheme with vegetables.

 

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Capel St Mary

Ipswich

IP9 2LA

Grahame Hughes

Grahame Hughes has been growing organically in Norfolk since 1982 and selling produce from other organic farmers in East Anglia since the early 1990s. He founded and ran Eostre Organics, the marketing arm of the East Anglian organic growers co-operative until it folded in 2008. Grahame and Lizzie Hughes, together with their son Josh, still grow veg in their greenhouse in Bunwell, Norfolk. They also run a wholesale business that provides much of the veg for the box scheme, as well as the bananas, which are imported from organic growers in the Dominican Republic.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer and wholesaler

c/o Growing Communities

Langridge Organic

Langridge is an organic wholesaler selling UK-grown and imported fruit and veg through Covent Garden market. It also has its own farms, including Langridge Farm in Devon, which is run by David Govier. The farm consists of 270 acres of traditional mixed organic land, split between vegetable production, livestock and mixed managed woodland. David’s main crops are spinach, chards and kales. He also grows some wonderful purple and white sprouting broccoli along with hearty cabbage.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer and wholesaler

Unit A53 - A58 New Covent Garden, London SW8 5EE   020 7622 7440

Organiclea

Organiclea is a workers' coop based on the edge of Epping Forest in the Lea valley. They grow fruit, vegetables and herbs at the Hawkwood Nursery market garden outdoors and under glass. Like Growing Communities, Organiclea's star product is its salad, with a mix of over 40 different plants evolving through the seasons, but it also supplies celery, squash and other veg to the box scheme, as well as providing some strawberries in the summer. The site offers regular volunteering opportunities for those with or without previous growing experience, as well as both formal and informal training and skillsharing workshops involving practical work on the site.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Hawkwood Plant Nursery 115 Hawkwood Crescent Chingford E4 7UH 020 8524 4994

Home Farm Nacton
Andrew Williams

Home Farm Nacton produces organic vegetables and conventional crops in Suffolk under teh management of Andrew Williams. They previously supplied the veg scheme through the wholesaler Langridge, but we're now buying from them direct.

The farm is a patchwork of woodland, heath, grass and arable land and comprises 1,170 hectares on the historic Orwell Park Estate on the north bank of the Orwell estuary near Ipswich.

The company is a significant contributor to the regional economy and Home Farm Nacton plays an active role in the local community.

 

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Camilla Court, Nacton, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP10 0EU   01473 659280

Mole End Farm
Paul Ward and Sara Rowan

Paul Ward and Sara Rowan started growing fruit organically in 1994, after discovering that 90% of the UK organic fruit market was supplied by imports, sending the environmental benefits of these production systems abroad. They now grow fruit on five sites in Kent which include conservation areas to provide bio-diversity and a home for natural predators who feed upon the crop’s insect pests as well as offering a wealth of habitat for native wildlife. They grow apples for the box scheme.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

c/o Growing Communities

Newfields Organics
Rosemary Wass

Rosemary & Howard Wass were early pioneers of organic farming. They started organic vegetable horticulture in 1986 and by 1990 their entire farm was certified organic.

The farm lies high on the southern edge of the North York Moors. Howard confounded the view of a Ministry of Agriculture adviser at the time, who said “he must be off his trolley” to be contemplating growing vegetables on this marginal land. At an altitude of 650ft above sea level, it must be one of the highest organic farms in the country. Approximately half of the farm lies on sandy loam soils over yellow sand and limestone, the remainder is on black peaty soils over sandstone. 60 acres of the land is dedicated to wheat, oats and spring barley, about 12 acres for livestock feeding, 20 acres for potatoes and 19 acres for our vegetables.

For the Wass family, organic growing has always been an application of faith and their belief in social and environmental justice.

Since Howard's death in 2007 Newfields Organics is now run by Rosemary and farm manager John. They supply the veg scheme with outstanding quality field vegetables – potatoes, carrots, beetroots, cabbages and other brassicas.

Fruit & veg scheme farmer

Fadmoor, North Yorkshire

Oakwood Farm
Carol and Matthew Wilson

Oakwood Farm supplies our veg scheme with delicious apples. It’s one of only a few small licensed organic orchards in the Sussex High Weald. Owned by Matthew and Carol Wilson, the farm achieved full organic status in September 1999 and has been producing fabulous apples and a fabulous range of varieties ever since.

Matthew and Carol are passionate about the environmental benefits of organic farming. "Organic production means sustaining a natural, diverse and healthy balance between the crop the farmer introduces, and the surrounding ecosystem of good soil and beneficial wildlife - such as plants, insects, mammals and birds - that control fruit pests."

Apple varieties grown on the farm are: Cox, Egremont Russet, Fiesta, Ida Red, Jonagold, Spartan, Falstaff and Adams Pearmain with new varieties being introduced all the time.

 

Fruit & veg scheme farmer

Robertsbridge, East Sussex

Laines Organic Farm
Toos Jeuken

Toos Jeuken has run an organic farm in Cookfield since 1978, when she arrived from Holland and started cycling around Sussex looking for land. She specialises in winter veg, but also grows strawberries, broad beans and leeks.

Fruit and veg scheme farmer

Bore Place
Metske van der Laan

These Soil Association certified organic vegetable gardens form part of an organic farm with large gardens, a historic house and conference and education centre. The vegetable gardens are also key to the centre's work with young people, providing work experience for those in the Grow to Grow programme, providing supported placements for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people who are in transition, excluded or recovering from mental health problems, and young people in and leaving care. You can also camp at the site and check in on how your vegetables are growing.

Fruit & veg scheme farmer

Edenbridge, Kent

Bagthorpe Farm
Nick

Bagthorpe is a family-run 300 hectare mixed organic farm, growing fantastic organic vegetables, cereals and beef cattle. Situated in the beautiful unspoilt countryside of rural North Norfolk, they started converting land into organic production over 30 years ago. Bagthorpe is blessed with a wonderful natural environment, which they have strived to enhance with their organic farming methods and environmental projects. They supply our veg scheme with incredible quality carrots, beets, potatoes and onions.

Fruit & veg scheme farmer

King's Lynn, Norfolk