We grow top fruit (apples, plums and pears) and soft fruit (raspberries and blackberries). We sell through pick your own and also pick many varieties of apples and make them available in our Farm Shop. We bought the farm in 1975 when it was a jungle of neglected apple trees with inaccessible fruit of unwanted varieties. We have progressively pruned some and grubbedothers to make way for smaller apple trees and soft fruit. All soft fruit and nearly all apple trees can now be picked standing on the ground.
We are not organic growers. There are too many pest and disease threats for us to reject entirely all chemical solutions. We believe the problem has been abuse of chemicals rather than their existence, so we use them only when monitoring shows that there is a need. We never use pesticides that kill their natural predators of our target prey (eg ladybirds which eat aphids) and we choose those that degrade quickly. We never coat our fruit with wax or preservatives.
We have a wide range of bat and bird boxes around the farm. We have planted a wildlife hedge and we leave the margins of our orchards uncut so plants and insect life can develop. Fieldfares and redwings are regular visitors to the farm and feed on the windfall apples in the winter. We have a good count of birds and butterflies so the few chemicals we use cannot be doing much damage to the environment. We are also keepers of strong and healthy bee colonies.