Riverford Organic





Riverford Organic Farms is a company with several farms, all available to the public for tours, both self-led and guided. Riverford’s Devon location, Wash Farm, is located in Buckfastleigh, Devon and is the base of the Riverford Farms operation. Wash Farm is a certified organic working farm, with a high quality restaurant and a food delivery service. It specializes in growing local foods and distributing them across the UK, with over 47,000 boxes of food sent in a week. Riverford is part of a growing movement in the UK that focuses on the sale of affordable local foods and providing the origins of the food people eat. Local foods are subject to fewer chemicals and pesticides, and help support the British economy. This is a trend that extends even to chain grocery stores, such as Tesco and Sainsbury's, which often include the location of growth for fruits and vegetables. This places an emphasis in understanding where food comes from and on supporting the local economy, even when not engaging directly with local farms. The smaller scale of the Riverford farm means that the company can work closely with their products to ensure the best quality in their foods. Riverford is one of many organizations in Devon that work to produce quality local products.

In addition to the food Riverford produces, the company also focuses on sustainability education by offering guided tours for students of all levels. These programs, conducted at Wash Farm,  discuss the importance of organic farming and teach students about running a sustainable farm. Students also get a glimpse into the company’s distribution process. Wash Farm has a massive packing and processing plant with its own fleet of branded trucks that deliver the farm’s products all over the country.

If you’re not with a school group and still want to visit and learn about Riverford’s produce and commitment to sustainability. The self-guided tours are free, and come with the added bonus of views like these:




The self-guided tour also comes with a map of the farm and an audio component that will describe the crops that are being grown in each field and the farming process. The walk is marked by numbers on trees and fences that correspond to numbers on the map. Be warned, though- some numbers are harder to find than others. On our visit to Wash Farm, we found many winter crops in the fields, including leeks, artichokes, and radishes. In addition to the fields, Riverford also has a greenhouse with more delicate crops like cilantro and lettuce. Because Devon’s had a very wet winter, the fields and paths were very muddy, but if you choose to visit, you have the option to borrow galoshes from the Riverford Organic Kitchen.


Our walk ran into a small hiccough when the map led us straight into a field of cows. We stopped at the gate by stop number 12 and a large number of cows headed straight to us to say hello and see if we had any food. Instead of braving that field, we went around into another and continued our journey. The Riverford employee who equipped us with our map also warned us about farm machines potentially interrupting our walk, but luckily we only ran into the cows.


Over all, we were very pleased with our walk and with Riverford Farms over all. The link below details how to visit the Wash Farm location, and provides suggestions for how to prepare for a farm walk. It also details how to get in contact with them to arrange an educational walk.