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Ewell Monastery Growers

Picking

picking tomatoes
grading for size
ready for market
picked off

Fruit is picked three times a week beginning the last week in March or the first week in April. Sit down trolleys are used on the heating pipes and so there is no heavy carrying. At the end of the row the boxes are piled up ready to be taken to the packhouse for grading.

Grading is a reasonably quick operation. The fruit is graded into six sizes, and all are first class fruit. Apart from a few private customers all the fruit is sold to a wholesaler in nearby Maidstone. There is a demand for 'Monastery Tomatoes' for we are well known for our strong flavour and good quality fruit.

Because the glasshouse is small by most commercial standards - an eighth of an acre is probably the smallest viable unit - we do not reach the 200 to 250 tons an acre of the large producers. We also stop early in mid August to allow ourselves a break. After all we are here not primarily to grow tomatoes, as much as we enjoy doing just that!