Growing with Nature in Mind
‘Organic’ has become something of a buzzword over the last few years, particularly with regard to food growing. Buying ‘Organic’ is seen as nothing more than a fashionable trend encouraged by producers who just want to charge higher prices. In fact consumers who can choose to buy organic actually support the production of goods which are not treated with chemicals or contain artificial inputs. However it can easily be argued that this ‘trend’ is simply the re emergence of the traditional way of farming, growing and manufacturing goods.
Many small scale growers are trying to act in a more environmentally responsible manner by employing sustainable principles and practices throughout the whole process of growing and selling their goods. At its heart, organic growing is the care and protection of the soil and of the diversity of creatures which work together to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Ducks & Daffodils is based at Goodness Farm, a vegetable grower who has Soil Association certified Organic status. This means that organic principles must be followed in order for the farm as a whole to keep this status. Where possible organic seed and stock plants are purchased but the range of suitable varieties is limited at present. When a particular type of flower is not available from organic sources we apply for a derogation, allowing the non-organic product to be introduced.
At Ducks & Daffodils we do not use any chemical sprays, fertilizers or growth enhancers. We do not use growing media containing peat. We try to use recycled and/or biodegradeable packaging. It goes without saying that we compost as much as possible, and that we try to encourage friendly wildlife of all kinds to maintain a balance of biodiversity. Plants are fed with organic compounds such as seaweed, nettle and comfrey. Weeds are painstakingly removed by hand, not by herbicides. Potting compost is organic peat free coir based: we use Fertile Fibre seed and potting mixes. Along with flowers for cutting we grow insect friendly poached egg plant, Californian poppy, borage, comfrey and phacelia. Flowers for sale are wrapped in unbleached paper, tied with natural raffia or twine. Organic growing can be hard work and challenging at times but we believe it is the only way to grow responsibly.
Our land is on a Soil Association certified farm so we don’t just pay lip service to the organic idea, we are bound to do as much as we can to uphold Soil Association principles.