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Tomato Finale 2003

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With ten tonnes plus in the bag, we picked the last tomato today, July 31st. The nursery will be no more, at least not in our hands, after this season. We have been growing tomatoes for thirty two years and this marks an end of an era. The small nurseries find it very difficult to remain viable with the advent of large scale tomato growing in the world and the influx of imports to the UK. Additionally, marketing has changed dramatically since we began. It was still possible to send tomatoes up to the London markets when we began in 1971, but no longer. Until six years ago in our village we used to supply three shops, with one shop moving six tons in a season as the record! Local wholesalers do their best against the market trends but it is not enough to pay for the always increasing costs of growing.
We have had two bad crops in our whole time of growing. The first time was at the beginning of our NFT system when the tomatoes were small and wonderfully tasty but not enough of them. I cannot recollect what the actual problem was, but we soon sorted it for the next season! This year we have been very disappointed with the quality of the crop - hard green underneath skin and not the usual sweet/strong taste. Anyway that is all history now.
We hope that you have enjoyed following our trials and successes. If anyone feels they need an eighth of an acre glasshouse, they must let us know soon!
Our best wishes to everyone who has been with us on this web site.

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