The Vale Grocer at The Denbigh Show

For the first time we put up some info on our market stand at the Denbigh Flower Show about who we are, so people could have a read without feeling under pressure to buy something from us! We’ve mentioned it before but we really want to start talking more about why we do what we do and how the business fits in with how we choose to live, and vice versa. This is the context, and so really important as a way to position what we’re doing. And we reckon this is how we might start getting more people to think about what they are doing and eating and the choices they are making. The ripple effect!

So, this is what we wrote:

Chris and Liz Kameen are small scale farmers growing seasonal vegetables in Prion for our veg box business and shop located in Denbigh. We live in a tiny cottage with room for minimal stuff and consequently low energy bills which allow us to prioritise our health and the food we eat.

We took on the veg box business and land about 5 years ago and have had a steep learning curve. We believe that the future of food production is not in bigger farms and mass production but rather a system of production by the masses – human scale farming. We actively support and encourage others to do what we are doing even on our doorstep.

There is nothing more fulfilling than feeding your friends with the best food possible!

On this stand today  we have a special box of vegetables that Chris has harvested this morning in Prion (potatoes, onions, curly kale, cavalo nero, cauliflower, chard, beetroot, leeks, kohlrabi, patty pan squash, courgette, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce). 

All of these have been grown from seed. Most of the seed we buy is from the Real Seed Company and so are heritage open pollinated varieties best suited to our local conditions in Wales.

So, why no chemicals?

Food made with Chemicals:

Buying from the supermarket may be convenient and possibly cheaper, but if the food you are buying is potentially leading to chronic illness is it worth it? Why do supermarkets think we should save money on the fuel we put in our bodies so that we can spend a few extra pounds on unnecessary luxuries.There is an increasing body of mainstream research that is showing a link between chronic illness, such as obesity and diabetes, and eating Ultra Processed Food. 

Food grown with Chemicals:

Without disappearing down rabbit holes regarding safety of chemicals and food production. Let’s look at a  simple fact and use common sense. Monsanto has settled over 100,000 Roundup lawsuits, paying out about $11 billion as of May 2022. There are still 30,000 lawsuits pending.The most common cancer associated with Roundup is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

Common sense tells us that food grown and made without chemicals is better than with, Given this food is available locally, why wouldn’t you choose it?*

*[additional info we didn’t have on the stand – and a huge topic] Whilst we know that price is often given as a reason and it seems very wrong that access to food grown and made without chemicals is skewed towards those with higher incomes, from our experience it’s less about the cost of the food than it is the perceived effort – and knowledge required – to prepare it and the perceived ‘waste’ as family members choose not to eat it. Both of these are huge barriers for many. CIC’s such as Use Your Loaf in Rhyl are doing great things, and I saw this article just today which talks about an organisation teaching cooking in S Wales.

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