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On the hunt for truly biodegradable bags

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that we were reviewing the packaging that we use for both the veg bag scheme and the shop. This is obviously quite a topical subject at present in the media which can only be positive.

You may be unaware that, as part of being an accredited Soil Association producer, one of the areas they inspect during our annual inspection is the packaging we use. Producers are encouraged to use biodegradable materials wherever possible and to limit the amount of packaging used. We have always strived to do this. The one area that we haven’t quite found the right biodegradable product is a bag for all leafy items. To date, the bags we have trialled have not been as biodegradable as marketed and take more than a year upwards to rot down if they have been composted. The Soil Association version we bought in a large quantity was rather a ‘white elephant’ purchase as we found it sucked all the moisture out of the leaves resulting in the produce wilting within hours, despite being refrigerated. Hence, still using the plastic version to date.

We now have several biodegradable bags we are trialling so I hope that very soon you will see your leaves in a more environmentally friendly version. We do try very hard to limit our packaging, balanced against giving you the produce in the best condition as possible. The plastic carriers we have in the shop are all up cycled from either staff or customers and are only given out when requested.

I am just finishing off my notes for the handouts for Sunday’s marmalade and jam workshop. I am pleased to say it sold out and pleasingly, highlighted that individuals are keen to try and make their own. We now have blood orange marmalade in the shop and hope to do some more ginger and Seville in the coming few weeks. Next weekend is the making a garden obelisk workshop; there are a few spaces remaining if anyone wants to sign up. A quick reminder that this coming Thursday and next Saturday, Sarah Hughes will be doing a volunteer hedgerow working party if anyone wants to join us.

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