I have long been on the hunt for some pretty block printed bedlinen that doesn’t cost the earth or look like I spent too long travelling in India. There is a happy medium, and I have finally found it – courtesy of The Organic Farm Shop.
I always like it when searching for something specific leads you to a bigger picture that is a thousand times more exciting, and this farm / workshop / B&B / textile store does just that. Run by Will and Hilary Chester-Master since 1990, the farm has always been organic and environmentally sustainable and sits alongside a garden, a shop and a cafe as well as a cute little shepherd’s hut and yurt where adventure seekers can hole up for the night.
Often visited by schools and keen green fingered souls, it is a brilliant and inspiring example of a sustainable organic community. And if you are unable to visit yourself, the veggie progress and happenings are wonderfully recounted on the Veg Garden blog, while on the news pages you can find info on special goings-on such as a weekly documentary night at the farm, updates on produce and planning, updated menus and info on new courses. (You can choose from textile workshops, green woodworking, cheese making, willow courses or cookery workshops and all can be incorporated into a camping holiday on site).
Which brings us nicely on to the textiles: beautifully printed cottons in perfectly blended colours, made from organically grown cotton. It is sourced by Hilary in India, who has set up a small workshop in Rajasthan which has been managed by the same two hand block printers for the last 21 years. Their pretty range of table cloths, duvet covers, quilts, handkerchiefs and sponge bags all feature traditional Rajasthani prints without being garish or over the top. And at such honest prices you would be mad not to snap them up.
Hilary says, ‘Our family has used these duvet covers for over 20 years now, and we are just starting our third set. They do fade, but the cotton is strong and very very soft. Once you have experienced sleeping under it, you might not want to sleep under anything else.’
I am all for some weathered, faded charm, and currently debating between designs. I think the best bet is to plan a visit so I can take in the whole Organic Farm Shop experience in all its colourful glory.