Our passion for creating a biodiverse environment, where vegetables and flowers can be grown in a sustainable way, free from artificial fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides has grown over the years.
Ant went to agricultural college in the 1970s, a time when pesticides were used indiscriminantly, and people were not really thinking about the effect of man’s actions on the environment.
Penny’s grandfather was a cucumber and tomato grower, and a founder member of the Lea Valley Growers Association in the 1950s, where she can remember going as a child.
Having both grown up in rural Somerset and Wiltshire and with an abiding love of the countryside, we are both committed to a holistic approach to growing.
Man’s obsession with cutting hedges, clearing out dead wood, and tidying wherever he goes, means that many small animals, birds and insects are destroyed or find it hard to survive . Here, we allow vegetation a more natural growth path and decomposition, and the balance of nature is slowly restored.
In the fields, by concentrating on improving soil organic matter and structure, and therefore fertility, we encourage biodiversity in the top few inches of the soil. We achieve this by growing green manure crops in rotation ( phacelia, mustard and clover, which also attract pollinating insects ) and liberal amounts of well rotted compost. This provides a wonderful habitat for all manner of insects, grubs and crucially predators who keep the “bad guys” under control. This, in combination with a no pesticide no fungicide policy ( pesticides and fungicides are generally indiscriminate, and kill as many good as bad) ensures that commercially viable crops of good quality can be grown with minimal impact on the environment