Tierra Verde is about organic foods from Andalucia, Spain and introducing the farmers that produce these foods directly to the public. All our farmers only farm organically. But more than this, their farms are small family run businesses and they manage them in a way that respects the land, their live stock and plants, and most importantly, for me, they do this with love and a real passion.
The word “organic” seems to have lost a lot of what I think it should mean. The Soil Association defines organic farming as “recognising the direct connection between OUR health and how the food we eat is produced. Artificial fertilisers are banned and farmers develop fertile soil by rotating crops and using compost, manure and clover.”
In other words it is about us. And this is the problem with the world we live in. It is always just about us. We forget that we share this planet with other people and other life. For me organic farming is of course, about banning any artificial fertilisers and pesticides but just as importantly it is about thinking beyond ourselves and living by the laws of nature. It is about community,balance and how we treat the land and each other.
What’s important to us is the welfare of the land, plants and animals, the farmer getting a fair price and our customers enjoying truly organic, earth-conscious foods.
Antonio and I know all the farmers and producers we work with very well and they have become friends, some very good friends. Their work is important to their families, for their village and town communities and for the future of this true approach to organic farming.
Antonio is Andalucian down to the bone and for him there is no better place in the world. I was born in London but have lived the last 8 years in a small village in the province of Cordoba.
For a while Antonio worked as a rep for a very large organic olive oil manufacturer and this is where we met. The estate is huge and the oil is very good. But for both of us the methods of intensive farming that were used, the lack of people working the land (it was all state-of-the-art machinery), the closeness of the trees and the vastness of the estate just did not equate with our ideas of organic farming.
So the idea of Tierra Verde evolved and we spent over a year visiting small farmers and producers across Andalucia, from Almeria to Cadiz, and choosing to work with the ones that we really felt shared our thoughts on organic farming. What surprised us was the number of farmers who were not motivated by profit and economies of scale, but instead by environmental welfare, tradition, and product purity.
Our aim is to make Tierra Verde a window into their world. To increase the publics awareness of their farming methods and their products and to introduce the farmers directly to you so that you can know exactly where your purchases are coming from.