Local supply is certainly our ideal. Year on year we have worked with UK farmers to increase the proportion of UK organic fruit & veg available at Unicorn, and over time it has improved greatly. There are some very capable organic growers in the North West, and we hope their numbers may increase with the creation of Farmstart Manchester by Soil AssociationThe Kindling Trust. Our most local growers are Glebelands City Growers, a co-op running a market garden in Sale. It was established to supply Unicorn in 2001 and has since expanded into a second site in Stockport.
With all our UK produce, the majority comes directly from the farms. This ensures it’s all fresh as can be, maintains a human, direct relationship with our growers and of course avoids the added cost of a wholesaler in between.
The seasons limit what can be grown here however, so we do rely on organic European and even Southern Hemisphere supply to maintain an impressive range throughout the year. As always, we would encourage you to eat seasonally, it’s usually cheaper, tastier, more nutritious and of course a lot less ‘well travelled’.
Unicorn is registered with the Soil Association and buys organic and ‘in-conversion’ produce only from certified growers and suppliers.
Whitethorn Farm at Carey in Herefordshire has about 16 acres of organic orchards, including cider apples, dessert and culinary apples, plums, pears and cherries. Almost 70 varieties in all, chosen by Martin and Rachel Soble for their flavour and suitability for organic systems. Most of these are older varieties, planted by the Sobles from 2005… Read More »
Pollybell Farms is around 1900 hectares, a conglomeration of what used to be 12 separate farms. Pollybell itself is part of the much bigger ‘Loveden Estates’ business, which owns other land and has been owned by the Brown family since 1994. Polybell began conversion to organic growing in 1997, and by 2009 three quarters of… Read More »
VINE HOUSE FARM
The first Watts moved to Vine House Farm in Lincolnshire in 1883, and the family has been there ever since. Four generations on, the farm is run by Nicholas Watts and his daughters, as well as a team of six other staff, all of whose fathers worked on the farm. A keen bird enthusiast, Nicholas… Read More »
WARD & THOMPSON
Barry Ward & Yvonne Thompson’s vegetable growing started out as a hobby (for their own consumption) but then they realised they were actually quite good at it, and in 1984 they went professional. The two of them farm 3.2 acres of land in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, with about 1000 square metres under cover. The soil is… Read More »
Francis Sampson grows on two adjacent pieces of land right at the tip of Cornwall near Lands End. One of the areas is very exposed, open to the regular south-westerly winds but significantly, virtually frost free. The value of such mild coastal strips is most apparent in winter when production of cauliflowers, spring greens, savoys… Read More »
BROOK HOUSE FARM
Brook House Farm is 4.5 acres of flat land on the Fylde plain near Garstang, just north of Preston. The soil is a silty, clay loam, fertile, but slow to drain in an area of high rainfall. The farm is owned by Libby and Paul Flintoff, who took on the smallholding in 1993 after growing… Read More »
Strawberry Fields is an organic oasis ten miles north of Boston, Lincolnshire. Started as a self-sufficient dream back on a housing estate in Hertfordshire, the inevitable bills were an incentive for Pam Bowers and family to begin selling the surplus vegetables (organic of course), and one thing led to another! The business is a real… Read More »
GLEBELANDS CITY GROWERS
Just a couple of miles from Unicorn, Sale is the original home of Glebelands City Growers, who supply us with some of our organic vegetables and provide our amazingly fresh salad leaves – all year round. Glebelands is a small growing business run by highly skilled horticulturalists Adam & Charlotte, plus dedicated seasonal workers (several… Read More »
Newfields Organics is now run by Rosemary Wass since the death of her husband and partner Howard in 2007. The farm lies high on the southern edge of the North York Moors in the North of England. At an altitude of 650ft above sea level, this must be one of the highest organic farms in… Read More »
Bagthorpe Farm is a family-run farm that supplies us with potatoes, parsnips, beetroot, red onions and more. Located in North West Norfolk, next to Sandringham, the farm comprises 100 acres of land, all under organic cultivation. The soil is sandy and stony, gently undulating, and includes 18 different woods and lots of hedges, so providing… Read More »
Duncan Gielty has been growing organically since 1980 at their 120 acre site, Lyncroft Farm, in Ormskirk. Their land is quite spread out and they operate a 6 year rotation, supplying Unicorn with carrots, parsnips, new potatoes, tomatoes, Swiss chard, pak choi, cucumber, spring onions, spinach and celery in the summer months and tundra and… Read More »