Friday, May 6, 2011

Cambridge: Agric Tour

I've been to Cambridge this week on an Agric Tour to go and see loads of farms, demo farms and various new enterprising businesses.

Lots of them are LEAF demo farms (Linking Environment And Farming) so are the best of the best, and supply to Waitrose, Harvey Nichols, Harrods and other places like that.

On the way down on Tues we stopped at Bottom Farm to see Duncan Farrington who makes Mellow Yellow - Rapeseed oil, salad dressing, mayo and things like that for Waitrose and farm shops.

On Wednesday we went to G's who grow salad. They grow it from seed in big plastic trays in huuge greenhouses made from the same stuff as the Eden Project, then it gets planted out. They grow 80million lettuce each year in the greenhouse, then they buy more in from Chichester and Hull for when they plant into the ground!
Then they're planted out with a siik machine they built on-farm...

Wednesday afternoon we went to another LEAF farm that grow Organic and Conventional vegetables. We got on a trailer on the back of a tractor and he drove us round the farm!
They have to irrigate the crops (for quality rather than yield) and it costs £30,000 a week! Saw all of Waitroses organic red onions for this year in one field, and 25% of their conventional red onions.

Thursday morning we went to Thrift Farms to see Robert Law who was Farmers Weekly's "Farmer of the Year 2006" and grows crops and has sheep - 300 pet lambs this year!
Some of his sheep are on land owned by OFCOM so they're walking around the monitoring pylons and things! He has to be careful with fencing up there and can't use electric fencing 'cos it interferes with their equipment.
Thursday afternoon we went to Midloe Grange Farm to see more wheat. We were walking through a field of wheat and saw a baby hare just sat there...

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