The Last Month!
July 2002

We have come to the last month of picking. The photographs show how these last trusses are right at the top of the plants and already bulking up. It has been a very difficult season with the weather fluctuating wildly between very hot and then quite cool with rain and storms. This has meant that the cropping has been eratic with a fortnight of very large picks last month and now only a few tomatoes at each pick. But obviously in a week or two's time we shall be busy again. We have harvested eight tonnes so far and there are probably another two tonnes left to pick. So this means we shall be finished by the end of July.
What is the future for horticulture in the UK? Although it produces a great deal of the nation's salad and vegetables it has long been regarded as very secondary to arable and dairy farming. There are still quite a few small glasshouse growers although the great bulk of salad produce now comes from the larger growers of five acres or more. There are moves to give the horticultural sector a higher profile and a better voice in the whole of farming in the UK. Horticulture has developed a highly specialist and technological approach to growing, keeping ahead of the times in so many ways, utilising fuel and water supplies most efficiently and virtually eliminating all need for spraying the crop through using biological control. It is time that this was more widely known so that there can be an informed comparison between imported salads from non-European countries and our own. Buy British!

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