Ipple-Pen Diary. Organic or Not

The thing about summer in the South West is the number of visitors who come to the area and who make a major contribution to the economy and yet feel that they are being ripped off.

The other day I happened to go into an old fashioned greengrocers located in a local garden/market garden just as it was opening.

The fresh produce had just been delivered and a young lad was sorting it all out putting the perfectly formed vegetables on display and the misshapen ones to one side.

Now the greengrocers in question had a section marked ‘Organic’ which perhaps interestingly is more than half the price again than the ‘fresh’ (I assumed non-organic) vegetables on show.

To be fair the ‘fresh’ produce was clean and perfectly formed whereas the ’organic’ produce looked just that, misshapen and unwashed much like a teenagers neck.

Now I’m not a naturally suspicious person but it did seem to me that the misshapen unwashed ‘organic’ vegetable very closely resembled the misshapen unwashed ‘fresh’ vegetables that the young lad was carefully putting aside.



Not really because there was something about it that made me think what else could he do to compete against the multi-national supermarket chains that he has seen threaten and destroy so many businesses like his.

The greengrocer has no chance of competing with the large supermarket chains where pre-packaged mange-tout complete with hazel and cashew nuts comes with a complementary bottle of sweet chilli and oyster sauce and a pack of healthy life enhancing low fat noodles.

I’m old school when it comes to small businesses and especially places like greengrocers and butchers.

I happen to almost enjoy the experience of pointing to what I want to buy and seeing it weighed and packaged in a brown paper bag before handing over cash and not just ‘swiping’ a card through an electronic device.

The greengrocers that still exist have had to adopt a protectionist attitude of “if you can’t beat them” and find ways of making a living.

Who cannot smile at the genius of calling Brussels Sprouts, Magic Fairy Cabbages to entice very young kids to eat them?

So no I don’t harbour any ill will towards our greengrocer friend and will still shop there for my vegetables –

But —

Perhaps I’ll give his ‘organic’ range a miss.