ORCHARD Local Food is a new online store, delivering local food to south Hampshire homes.

The company, which opened in November, was born through a desire to make local food more available and accessible in Hampshire.

It offers home delivered local produce at a competitive price, including vegetables, dairy and meat products.

Orchard’s speciality is the ‘veg boxes’ starting at £7.95, offering a colourful selection of vegetables delivered in a box, all plastic free, as if they’d come straight from the fields.

And this is pretty much the case: most of the food delivered by Orchard Local Food is grown within eight miles from its base in Chandler’s Ford, the furthest supplier is located in Alton.

Founder Matt Taylor says that he came up with the business idea a year ago when he finally got fed up with all the unnecessary packaging around food.

In addition to reducing the use of plastics, Matt wanted to make local food accessible to more people, reduce food miles and promote local business and economy.

“I found it difficult myself to find locally grown food and I thought there has got to be a better way,” he says.

“Previously if you wanted local produce it meant a rather lengthy trip to the farmers market (if you knew when it was on) or a trip round several local shops. In the current time strapped society we live, this can be a significant challenge.

So I thought that I could be the one doing the running around to the farmers markets and local shops and then deliver this wonderfully fresh local produce to whoever wants it.”

Orders are delivered on Thursdays evenings provided that the order is submitted before midnight on Monday and on Saturdays if ordered correspondingly on Wednesday.

For the moment home delivery is available in Winchester, Southampton, Eastleigh, Bishopstoke, Chandler’s Ford and North Baddesley, but the service is expanding and Matt is open for suggestions.

Orchard Local Food offers free home delivery for all orders exceeding £20.

To sign up for the service and for more information on deliveries go to orchardlocalfood.com