Local veg farmer picks at 3.30am, so produce is fresh to the market.
Pawel Wisniewski is an early riser. He can be seen on his 16-acre organic veg plot near Abergavenny at 3.30am, picking produce to go out that day. He’s been running Paul’s Organic Vegetables for five years and supplies the Michelin-starred Walnut Tree restaurant, markets in Cardiff and Usk and, more recently has started providing organic veg boxes to customers in the local area, including Crickhowell.
“I deliver 24-hour freshness. We get up at 3.30am and pick before we go to the markets or before we pack the veg boxes. Our produce is much fresher, much better tasting and much better for you than anything you can buy in the supermarket. The moment that a vegetable comes out of the ground, it starts to lose its quality and its nutritional value. I know it is more convenient for people to go to the supermarket than come to the farm, but supermarket vegetables may have been out of the ground for days or even weeks and cannot possibly be as good as our veg,” Pawel said.
Pound for pound, Pawel says he beats organic supermarket prices, though non-organics are cheaper. Veg box customers subscribe by email and Paul’s Organic Vegetables sends out a list of what is available every week for them to choose from.
“Our boxes are seasonal, what is available at the time, so people can choose from what is ready in the field at that moment. I don’t want to import from Italy and Spain for a greater range, I want to sell what is in season because it is better, more natural.”
Pawel accepts that this may not suit some shops and restaurants who want a guaranteed supply all year round. But, he says some of these supply problems could be overcome by growers working together, producing different crops in rotation and sharing the produce.
Pawel said: “Let be honest, to grow 35 or 45 varieties of vegetables and look after them is ridiculously hard. If each grower had 10 varieties, you would be able to maintain a perfect crop and have outstanding quality and freshness at the same time. And if everyone did that, everyone would be happy.”
Article and photographs by Tim Jones, As You See It Media
Paul’s Organic VegetablesProducer
- Locally Grown Produce
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