We keep our soils covered up through the year using cover crops. This natural crop management practice reduces soil erosion, encourages biodiversity, retains nutrients, enhances soil structure, and helps to capture carbon in the soil (carbon sequestration).
Our anaerobic digestion plant not only provides us with energy and heat, but also provides us with a large proportion of our fertiliser requirement. The ‘digestate’ that comes out of the AD plant is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, together with lots of micro nutrients. It’s also organic. Using digestate produced from waste sweetcorn husks, allows us to grow more sweetcorn using less conventional fertiliser.
“The quality of the soil and the biodiversity balance mean everything when producing healthy crops. To farm successfully, you need to be a custodian of nature.”
Peter Barfoot, CBE (Services to Sustainable Farming)
We contribute to a number of schemes to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste. Our partner charities, which include FareShare and UKHarvest, collect surplus good-quality food, including ‘wonky veg’, and distribute it to those in need. Through FareShare alone, we have donated over 447 tonnes of vegetables that would otherwise have gone to waste. This is equal to more than 1,064,936 nutrient-rich meals.
“If we can provide those who are less fortunate than most with the opportunity to eat our vegetables, then donating our surplus produce is simply the right thing to do.” Keston Williams, Technical Director