Why buy fruit from the Vale Grocer?
At the Vale Grocer (used to be Eat Your Greens) we believe that food production and distribution should be a symbiotic relationship between us, our customer and the environment. We put a lot of effort into ensuring that our customers get the best tasting, least travelled and least sprayed fruit. Unfortunately aesthetics, and how something looks, is something that advertisers in big companies tell us is important, and thus we’ve become accustomed to - but we would say this is far less important than these other considerations.
In a 2016 pesticide usage report for orchards in the United Kingdom completed by the Office for National Statistics, eating apples (Cox variety) received on average 17 fungicides, 5 growth regulators, 4 insecticides and 2 herbicides. (Page 9 https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/pusstats/surveys/documents/orchards2016.pdf)
We buy our apples from farms such as Carey Organics who do not use any chemicals, and hand in hand with this comes a focus on encouraging the insects and wild flowers. They do spray occasionally but with a seaweed or bicarb formulation, as a ‘tonic’. Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zdKjm1yMdg
The apples grown by a farm such as Carey Organics tend to be those that are best suited to their location - rather than the variety demanded by the supermarket (which they would say comes from the consumer). When we buy from Cae Main Orchard in Bodfari, the apples have been carefully selected as best suited for growing in North Wales with no chemical interventions.
Our clementines & oranges
Why is our citrus fruit green at the moment? It doesn’t mean that it isn’t ripe, and it’s still tasty! The orange colour occurs when the nights are much colder than the days which tends to happen later in the Mediterranean season. In 2017, Tesco’s became the first major UK supermarket to start selling green clementines because it reduced the amount of food waste which occurred during the artificial ripening process that many wholesalers are required to do to make them orange.
The ripple effect
We believe in the ripple effect of making small changes that have a big impact. The seasonal fruit offering that we supply is one such way of implementing a diverse and lower impact diet to our customers. The ubiquitous year round offering from supermarkets has robbed us and our children of that sense of excitement of biting into the first fresh crisp apple of the new season.
Looking forward to the changing season and the different fruits and vegetables that become available to us is something we cherish, and hopefully some of that rubs off!