The Watercress Company are innovative watercress and salad growers based in the South West. The company joined Taste of the West six years ago; they are proud Patron members and have an impressive number of Taste of the West product awards under their belt too. With farms across Dorset and Hampshire, they pride themselves on supplying over 4,500 stores nationwide with delicious, fresh watercress.
The specialist watercress beds, dating back to Victorian times, are flowing with mineral-rich spring water which bubbles up from underground aquifers to feed the plants and imbue the watercress with its phenomenal health properties.
Watercress not only contains over 50 vital vitamins and minerals, but gram for gram it boasts more calcium than milk, more Vitamin C than an orange, more folate than a banana and more Vitamin E than broccoli. Added to that, watercress is a rich source of fibre and of crucial antioxidants, both vital for gut health which is linked to immunity and mental health. It’s also high in Vitamin A and rich in Iron. Your body uses Vitamins A & C to convert the Iron into a more easily absorbed form, making it stand head and shoulders above other leafy green vegetables such as spinach.
It’s the distinctive peppery heat that made watercress one of Britain’s favourite salad leaves for generations and The Watercress Company are keen to maintain its popularity with younger audiences, setting out on a mission to produce creative watercress recipes that encourage people to try it in a totally new fashion. Gone are the days when watercress was reserved solely for sandwiches at afternoon tea and soups on cold evenings (although, those are both delicious) it now features in sophisticated salads, a variety of dinner recipes and even some desserts!
It’s not all about salad, either. The Watercress Company have made incredible efforts to support their community and environment over recent years. 2020 saw the launch of their plastic free bunches, which you can now buy online as a one-off or a subscription service. These bunches hark back to the days before fast food, where watercress would be wrapped in paper and sold on the streets. The packaging is biodegradable paper which is printed with natural ink and coated in plant-based wax; they are also insulated with compostable wool and shipped in cardboard boxes. This really is the salad of the future.
Recently, The Watercress Company won a Hero of Fresh Produce award from the Fresh Produce Journal and M.D. Tom Amery was crowned Dorset Magazine’s Food & Drink Hero, after the company’s close work with NHS trusts up and down the country. Their work has involved creating a healthy green smoothie to support patients on an oncology ward at Dorset County Hospital, donating 35,000 bags of watercress to NHS staff across Dorset, Hampshire, London & Norfolk and pioneering a project which aims to get frozen blocks of watercress which, when mixed with water, will create a nutritious soup to feed hospital patients.
You can learn more about the amazing health benefits of watercress, the team that get it from field to fork and discover what life is like on a watercress farm on their Instagram, Facebook and www.thewatercresscompany.com.