What was the inspiration behind setting up Vances Organic Farm?
I wanted to do something meaningful, something which would benefit my local environment. I’ve always been interested in vegetarian style cooking and my family loves to garden. So it felt like starting an organic farm was everything in my life coming together. I enjoy doing research into vegetable varieties so that I can grow the best tasting veg, that are a little different from what you find in supermarkets and create variety for my customers to keep vegetables interesting for all. Recently, I've added mooli to my Veg boxes. I think it’s easy to cook and eat, which makes it very accessible to people who haven’t tried it before.
Who buys your fresh, local, and seasonal produce?
A very wide range of people. We deliver to homes of local families around the north coast. We will deliver to anyone and we regularly deliver to individual homes. The team on the farm is close-knit and family run: for example, my mother grows the flowers we sell herself. Other than veg boxes, we also sell organic milk from Culmore farm, Sourdough bread from Ursa Minor Bakehouse Ballycastle, and organic free range eggs from Ballygarvey.
Have You Noticed an Increase in Interest in Sustainable Food After the Pandemic?
Yes we’ve definitely had increased interest, more people are wanting to buy from local retailers that they can trust.
What are your best sellers?
The large veg boxes are definitely our most popular sellers. There are 8 varieties which change depending on the season and, more specifically, what needs to be harvested that week. Meaning the vegetables are as fresh and seasonal as you can get. It also results in big variety through the seasons. This is what I think makes the boxes so popular, having vegetables which are pre-selected by the farmer themselves means you get the best tasting veg and it’s constantly changing, which is very different from buying vegetables at the supermarket.