Steve Jones is one of three local growers who form the Jersey Organic Growers Alliance, a co-operative with the aim “to produce and provide fresh organic food for the local community” and “to make the cost of this produce as affordable as possible for the people who want it, and at the same time provide a decent return for the producers.”
The Alliance achieves it’s aims by selling direct to the consumer via the VegieBag scheme. You can order a delivery of organic produce via the VegieBag website and it will be delivered to your door. “By missing out the retailer in the chain, a cost benefit is achieved; we can deliver fresher produce because we harvest just before delivery; and you know where and how it’s been grown!” promises the Vegiebag site.
Steve and his wife Jacqui run Vers Les Monts Organic Farm, a 20 vergee farm in St Peter which has been organic for 14 years. They specialize in kales and other leafy crops like spinach. Also, most of the eggs for VegieBag come from Steve’s farm. “As we grow on a small scale purely for the local market we retain an intimate relationship with all stages of the production and are convinced that our efforts are reflected in the quality of what we produce.” says Steve.
Steve has been farming for about 16 years, he has always been an environmentalist and after working on a number of farms in Europe, decided to have a go at running his own farm in Jersey and says that “farming non organically was never an option!”
On a typical day Steve is up at 5.30, for a busy routine involving feeding and moving hens, delivering vegetables and eggs to shops. Then picking veg for vegiebag, weeding and planting, feeding, and collecting eggs.
Vers Les Mont Organic produce can be found at Classic Herd Farm Shop in St Peter and The Organic Shop in St Helier. Eggs and “Leaf Bags” (which contain Spinach, Rainbow Chard and five types of Kale) can be found in Co-Op Grande Marche in town and St Peter.