I thought I’d tell you about Ripple Farm this week.
When we set up Vegbox back in 2012, Ripple Farm was the first producer we reached out to.
Martin MacKay is the farmer behind the farm. I had been given his mobile number. I rang him up in early summer and Martin answered the phone. “Errrr, we’re thinking of setting up a veg box scheme in north London. Do you think you could deliver to us?” He pondered this and then answered in his slow and thoughtful Irish accent: “Yes, Tom, I think we probably could. September would be a good time to start.” Our core team at the time went to visit them. He and his wife Sarah met us at home and made us a lovely meal. It was such a lovely, encouraging start.
Ripple Farm is a 100 acre farm set across three sites near Canterbury in Kent. They grow a range of staples and are a reliable supplier to many organic box schemes around London. One lovely thing about Ripple Farm is their commitment to the people they work with. Unusually for a British farm, they have managed to employ a local workforce. How? They work with local colleges to offer practical farming apprentices, they pay decent wages, and they are generally lovely. On top of that, Martin is super knowledgeable and always working towards ways of increasing the sustainability of the farm and of the broader network of box schemes that he is linked into.
Photo from www.ripplefarmorganics.co.uk