View Full Version : Veggie box business is thriving

Sep 21st, 2004, 09:18 AM
Veggie box business is thriving
Sep 21 2004

Steve Dube, The Western Mail (uk)

A MID WALES sheep farmer broke a 300-year-old family tradition to set up an organic veggie box business - with a meat-hating vegan.

Evan Price and his business partner Dorian Robinson shocked the sheep farming community of Elan Valley when they decided to go green.

But now the unlikely business partners are reaping the rewards of their risky venture 900 feet above sea level - much to the surprise of Evan's sceptical dad Tom.

Their remarkable story is told for the first time in ITV1 Wales' Grassroots programme on Thursday. Presenter Hywel James followed the couple for a typical day at their mountainside vegetable patch.

The Price family have kept sheep on the hills above the village of St Harmon near Rhayader for three centuries. The unique diversification partnership kicked off two years ago.

Veggie lover Dorian says, "Everyone thought we were mad when we set up the business - including Evan's dad whose ancestors have been sheep farming in these hills for over 300 years.

"But we have proved the local community wrong and we hope to be delivering to over 200 customers by next summer."

When asked by Grassroots how she feels about Evan's love of lamb roasts, 50-year-old Dorian says, "I don't preach to Evan about eating meat and he does not invite me for Sunday lunch."

Local farmers had warned 37-year-old Evan his scheme would not get off the ground. But now the delighted meat-eater says, "I was toldthe sheep-farming soiland high altitude was not a good recipe for good vegetables.

"But the position of the vegetable patch on a south facing slope has proved perfect for really mouth-watering produce."

Proud dad Tom says, "I didn't think the boy would do it but he's done marvellous."

Dorian and Evan grow everything from the humble potato to the more exotic Pak Choi on their hillside patch.

The freshly picked produce can be served up on customer's plates in just six hours, making it fresher and tastier than off a supermarket shelf. Evan and Dorian dig up, pack and deliver the produce every Wednesday from Allt Goch Farm.

Thursday's programme follows the fresh food trail from St Harmon to a local restaurant in Rhayader.

"I serve up the vegetables the very same afternoon I have them delivered," says restaurant owner and veggie-box regular Francine Powell.

"I know they are fresh, healthy and very lovely and I'm sure my customers appreciate it. You can't get fresher than this."

Grassroots can be seen on ITV1 Wales at 7.30pm on Thursday. I guess you get ITV1 Wales Wuggy.

Sep 22nd, 2004, 06:35 AM
Wow! What a great article! Hats off to Evan and Dorian for daring to give it a go. I really hope that business takes off for them! :)

Sep 22nd, 2004, 06:55 AM
Certainly do, gertvegan! Thanks, if I can gain control of the TV I will watch!!

Sep 22nd, 2004, 06:57 AM
Not only does England seem very vegan-friendly. There seems to be a lot of interesting TV viewing there too :)

Sep 22nd, 2004, 04:32 PM
Yes, Roxy, we may moan a bit, but in some ways I think we are lucky!

Sep 23rd, 2004, 06:29 AM
moan lol. You haven't heard moaning until you've heard my mother-in-law and she's not even from the UK!

Sep 23rd, 2004, 08:12 PM
I have just watched the 'Grassroots' programme about the veggie boxes. Apart from an icky bit about a food festival at the begining (it was about 4 different topics in all) - it was good. The vegetables looked so delicious, and they have built up from 10 boxes a week to 60, I think she said, and increasing still. It's what I want to do when I move, only on a small scale, just selling enough to pay for my crops.
By the way, it was mentioned that this woman is a strict vegan, though she says she is tolerant, and even helps with the sheep sometimes.

Also on the programme was a woman from the Isle of Anglesey (where I live), who makes these little constructions called 'yerts' - could be spelled differently, but that's how it sounds! They are made from greenwood which she 'bodges' by hand, and look like a more 'refined' version of a tipee. She's selling them as 'extra rooms' to put in your garden. I think I will also buy one of those for my next home, as a bit of 'quiet space' where I can escape to meditate or whatever!

Sep 23rd, 2004, 08:14 PM
By the way, Roxy, my mother-in-law is no longer with us, but my mum - she never stops!!! Luckily, though of course she's from the UK, she now lives in Spain so I don't have to listen to it too often!