I know I said in the last post that we would be moving on to France now but I couldn't "leave" England without posting about this incredible farm. So this will be a very short post about my short visit with Maddocks Farm in Devon. This post will be mostly photos because I only got to spend a few mornings there and really the photos of their beautiful produce speak for themselves.
Maddocks Farm Organics is a producer of salad greens and edible flowers owned and run by Jan Billington with some part time help from her husband Stuart. It has been open for the past 12 years and she has worked diligently to produce a supremely stellar product. Her salad greens are more beautiful than most I have seen; composed of lettuce leaves, chicory in all colors, foraged plants, flower petals, herbs and much more. I got to spend just a few mornings with Jan and her team but I learned so much. She has been experimenting to find different and new varieties of edible flowers for a long time, experimenting on her own, researching in old guidebooks and even going to far as to pay to have them tested at local labs for possible allergens and toxicity levels. Maddocks farm is one of the first commercial, edible flower businesses in the UK. Her success has brought her and her farm many accolades but there have also been people that have copied her business model, including one person who started a competing flower farm just a few miles down the road. Fortunately there is enough business to go around and the Maddocks Farm reputation precedes itself so Jan has no shortage of demand.
We picked borage flowers and lettuce leaves and mixed salads for the BBQ for The Exeter Chiefs that I mentioned in the last post. I was impressed with her commitment to quality and thoughtfulness of the product. The salad ingredients are picked, washed, mixed and packaged meticulously. Her client list includes many of the top restaurants in the UK and she is also working with some top quality distributors. The Farm sells flowers both by individual varieties as well as special pre mix packs for weddings and special events.
Finally, Jan and her husband are committed to environmental stewardship and the current plight of the bee is of the utmost concern. She plants wildflowers and other bee forage around the property and donates 2% of the farms profits to Bee Conservation efforts.
Please check out their website for information and see some of the products available: http://maddocksfarmorganics.co.uk/
Hopefully I will get the post about my first farm visit in France up in the next few days. Fingers crossed that my WiFi luck holds out.
PS: all of the flowers pictured are edible! Many of these were new to me!