Update Cast your mind back all of 2 days to my article regarding organic fruit and veg and the benefits of eating food grown in this fashion.
I asked for your feedback on the price, health benefits and taste of organically raised garden produce and boy did you respond! Here's a snapshot of the replies I've received - and if you have forgotten the article, or didn't view it on your last visit, it's here!
Not according to 'Bogo', whose comment I've attached simply because he/she was first to respond. 'Freddie' reckons he would purchase more organic food in the supermarket if prices dropped, and he currently only buys veg he's not producing at home. Mrs Goatley from Suffolk will not use the big stores and prefers her local farm shop, whilst Hector in Devon has subscribed to his local box scheme - "it's pricey," he says, "but I reckon it's worth it".
The overall impression is that more of you would purchase organic produce if the prices were lower, but many will - perhaps not happily - pay the current going rate.
Opinions were varied to say the least! Colin on the Isle of Wight said he "certainly felt healthier after switching to natural foodstuffs" and had "suffered from far less colds", and 'Big Leek' from Staffordshire was happy with the long term affect on the environment and subsequently health, that organically produced crops bring.
On the other hand, 'Gladiator' from Dumfries-shire said that eating organic veg had made no noticeable difference to his health and would continue shopping for quality and taste regardless of the origin of the veg.
Talk about a unanimous verdict! Every single e-mail I received stated that the taste of organic fruit and veg, either home-grown or purchased, taste infinitely better than commercially grown varieties. Gordon in East Sussex was raving about his Tumbler tomatoes, 'The Courgette King' from Derbyshire - suprisingly! - said he had never tasted better courgettes, Mr Browne from the West Midlands said his runner beans were the talk of the allotments and 'Melons', down in Cornwall, said a combination of the warm climate and her organic methods help produce a fantastic crop every year.
Let's be completely impartial here. Yes, there were some messages from gardeners who felt that were little benefits in growing organically, that pest control and producing good looking plants and crops was much more difficult and that the end result did not warrant the effort.
Overall, three major gardening cross-sectors emerged from your replies; hardened, dyed-in-the wool organic growers; the interested but-yet-to be-convinced; and the traditional, spray it-if-it-moves-type. Here's what they said...
"It tastes better, it's healthy and it helps the environment" - Mrs Shenley, Lincs.
"I'd like to know more as there seems to be conflicting opinions - it's certainly too expensive for my family to buy organic food in the supermarket and the range is too small" - Henry L., Wales
"I can't get my veg looking good without spraying the many pests which constantly feed on the plants, and my allotment neighbour, who grows his plants for showing, feels the same" - Mr Honkin, North Yorks.
So there you have it! It seems clear from the many replies I've received that gardeners - and consumers - would like to produce and purchase organic fruit and vegetables, but there are still some stumbling blocks to overcome. If you'd like to try organic growing, visit the Harrod Horticultural website for all your organic seeds and equipment - and a big thank you to all of you who took the time to send in your comments.