Oxenfoord Organics – how it came to be

In 2005 we started selling organic fruit and veg from a Farm Shop at Sheriffhall. The next step was to deliver a few organic boxes. The demand for this increased quite quickly and we tried to look for possibilities to also start growing some vegetables. Early 2006 the opportunity arose to take on a lease for Oxenfoord Gardens, a 5 acre walled garden on Oxenfoord Castle Estate near pathhead. The move was made, we closed the Farm Shop and the first crops were planted. In October 2006 The Soil Association came out for a first inspection and now following a two year conversion period we are fully certified organic. The organic box delivery scheme is now well organised, with an increasing amount of produce ‘home grown’. A proper name was necessary and Oxenfoord Organics was born.

The Gardens

Oxenfoord Gardens is a 5 acre walled garden where production of fruit and veg began in Victorian times. Traditionally it was divided into 4 sections. Through heated walls and plenty of glasshouse space it was in those days possible to grow anything from beetroot to aubergines and from pears to peaches. Basic vegetables were grown throughout the year, and enough was produced to feed everyone living and working on the estate.

Over the years there was a gradual change towards commercial growing. Cut flowers were introduced and lettuce was grown for the fruit market.

The glasshouse had gradually fallen into disrepair and they were destroyed when the previous tenant took control some 45 years ago. Since then the gardens were developed into a commercial bedding plant nursery. A new glasshouse was built, but also one and a half acres of raspberries were planted.