17th July 2017
A party of 14 met outside EVG now know as Springhill Farms (Pershore)Ltd in Blackminster before assembling in reception to be welcomed by John Mathews.
He gave a brief history of the company, owned by the two Sicilian Billie brothers still very much involved after 22 years. The company employs 400 mainly Eastern European workers living in accommodation provided by the company including the converted Victoria Hotel in Pershore.
Tomatoes are planted in January and ready for picking in about 10 weeks without any spraying, don’t think anyone realised until we were shown around the glasshouses that each plant stem is about 30m long and bears up to 43 trusses all hydroponically grown and fertilised by bees brought in specially.
Rainwater harvesting assists the hydroponic growing and water is constantly pumped along each row. Plants finish cropping in November allowing a couple of months for clearing and burning before replanting in January although the waste plants can’t be fed into the anaerobic digester because of the amounts of string around which the stems entwine in the glasshouses.
Many thanks to John and staff for an enjoyable and informative visit and it was good to learn that these very same tomatoes can be bought in our local greengrocers.