This year the NFU and Home Grown growers are combining again to tell gardeners and consumers more about the benefits of Home Grown produce and what growers are doing for pollinators.
It is estimated that in the UK 70 crops are either dependent on or benefit from a visit from bees
Most recent estimates value agricultural pollination by bees at £690 million per year.
SO HOW DO FARMERS & GROWERS HELP POLLINATORS ON THE FARM?
- THEY PROVIDE HABITATS AND FOOD FOR WILD INSECT POLLINATORS – examples of this are
- By sowing wildflower or pollen & nectar mixes to provide food
- Leaving field corners uncultivated to create pollinator friendly habitat
- Managing hedgerows to boost flowering of hawthorn and blackthorn which provide pollen and nectar early in the year.
- Gardens and planted areas of coloured flowering plants attract pollinating insects
- BY PROVIDING SITES FOR HONEYBEES
- As honeybee pollination can help farmers they have a key role to play in increasing the number of UK beehives by working with beekeepers to identify good places to site beehives.
- Flowers and gardens offer pollinators good habitat for foraging.
- If you believe you have a suitable site contact the NFU on firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be able to put you in touch with a beekeeper in your area.
- BY USING PESTICIDES RESPONSIBLY
- Bees are at particular risk when insecticides are used in, or close to flowering crops or wild flowers. To reduce the risk farmers and growers:
- Wherever possible spray only at times when pollinators are not active, ie early morning, evenings or cloudy days.
- Apply pesticides only when weather conditions are suitable and spray as close to the crop as possible to prevent spray drift.
- Growers use biological methods with predators to control insect pests and when necessary, apply chemicals in controlled conditions and limited doses.
- By signing up to BeeConnected – a web-based system which allows farmers to inform local beekeepers of an intention to apply an insecticide.
Nurseries supporting the display with fresh produce:
Hill Brothers Ltd, Binsted Nursery, Toddington Nurseries, Cobbins Nursery, Coletta & Tyson, Earley Ornamentals, Park Nurseries, J.A. Collison, The Cut Flower Centre, Belmont Nursery, Moorland Nurseries, Naylor Flowers, Lambs Flowers Ltd.
Hill Brothers Ltd
Hill Brothers are a family-run, forward thinking plant nursery based in West Sussex. Serving wholesale clients across the country, we are one of the biggest Poinsettia and Orchid growers in the UK.
Founded in 1920 by George Hill, we are still as passionate about plants as we were 90 years ago and we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment in everything we do.
We produce around 3 million plants a year, use innovative growing techniques for best results and are Sedex approved for our ethical and responsible business practices.
Binsted Nursery was founded in 1978, as a partnership including Rosemary and David Tristram, to grow garden plants for wholesale to retailers, starting with herbs, alpines and bulbs, as part of the Farplants co-operative. It had started with Rosemary and her friend Janet Whiting growing some herbs to sell to raise funds for repairs to Binsted Village’s 12th-century church, at a ‘Herb Festival’ including recipes and produce. The venture was so successful they decided to become professional herb growers, starting the Binsted Nursery site in a nearby field. It also led to the formation of the village’s traditional Strawberry Fair at which donated Binsted herbs and other local produce continue to be sold for charity.
Mike Tristram joined Rosemary and David in the business in 1989, soon after which Rosemary retired to spend more time with family. From the 1990s Mike, together with Paul Bennett as General Manager and Martin Emmett in product development, worked to grow the business.
In 2001, construction of a new purpose built garden plant site commenced at Lake Lane,
New plants bred by nursery owner David Tristram and former General Manager Tim Crowther have been the life blood of our nursery since its inception.
These “Walberton’s” ® varieties are protected by Plant Variety Rights, or patents in the USA, and include Yucca ‘Bright Star’, Coreopsis ‘Flying Saucers’, Erysimum ’Fragrant Sunshine’ and ‘Fragrant Star’, Digitalis ‘Goldcrest’, Euphorbia ‘Tiny Tim’ and ‘Rudolph’, Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’ and ‘Rosemary’, Spiraea ‘Magic Carpet’ and Scabiosa ‘Pink Mist’, which was bred to complement our multi-million selling ‘Butterfly Blue’. Mike Tristram’s bestselling Ajuga Black Scallop is also marketed under the Walberton’s® trademark because he bred it from Binsted Nursery with assistance from Walberton’s laboratory.
Cobbins grow flowering houseplants year-round and seasonal pot bedding plants. We also specialise in indoor planted arrangements and bespoke added value items.
Supplying direct to garden centres via our fleet of temperature controlled vehicles. We provide a fast turnaround from order to delivery and guarantee high quality, fresh plants every time.
Combining high-tech glasshouses with three generations of growing experience, we are constantly evolving our product range, growing techniques and varieties to produce plants that are of the highest quality and reflect the needs of our customers and the end consumer.
Coletta & Tyson,
The Coletta & Tyson nursery began its journey to re develop its bedding plant range in 2010 from growing in peat and using polystyrene trays to something that was more environmentally friendly, easier for the customer to use and to keep British horticulture at the fore front of growing sustainably.
We worked closely with B&Q who sell over 140 million bedding plants a year and came up with a new concept that we called easyecoplant™. Our bedding plants are now grown in a “teabag” made from biodegradable corn starch that is filled with coconut coir pith and put in a recyclable plastic tray. Besides the environmental benefits this brings the plants are cleaner and easier to handle and this means there is less risk of damaging the plant when getting it out of the pack to plant it. B&Q have called it easyGrow™ and launched it on Monday 31st March 2014 in to all of their 360 stores across the UK.
100% recyclable plastic tray saves 15 million polystyrene trays going to landfill.
B&Q sold over 15 million polystyrene packs that couldn’t be recycled using customers home recycling bins. That was 22,500 cubic meters of non-degradable polystyrene going to UK landfills, the equivalent of over 87,000 wheelie bins. We worked with one of our key suppliers to develop the easyecoplant™ RPET recyclable tray. The RPET is made from recycled plastic drinks bottles and the registered design allowed us to reduce the foot print of the bulky polystyrene pack by over 25%. When the customer is finished with the tray they can simply put it in their recycling bin.
As a leading independent UK-based young plant producer and supplier with a specialist reputation for reliability and expertise, we are committed to providing excellent service and high-quality stock.
Particularly mindful of both the environment and economic climate, our in-house product, production and customer service team all understand current demands and we pride ourselves on being the first-choice young plant supplier for many of the UK’s leading commercial and retail growers.
Extensive range of high-quality young plants
Today, over 180m young plants, made up of 1,700 varieties, are grown each year at Earley Ornamentals. In addition to being the UK’s primary distributor of SunPatiens®, we offer an extensive range of young plants for all seasons: refining our range continually to introduce new varieties and ensure there is something new for our customers every year.
You can see a video of the nursery at Earley Ornamentals here: http://www.earleyornamentals.co.uk/video.aspx
J.A.Collison & Sons is a family run business based at Tuxhill Farm near King’s Lynn, Norfolk. The Collison family have been producing cut flowers in West Norfolk for three generations. Tuxhill Farm was purchased in 1966 by Bryan and June (J.A.) Collison and it has been the centre of the business since then. The family partnership is made up of – June, Philip, Ian & Diane Collison. Philip takes care of the growing side of the business. Ian is responsible for cropping, tulip growing and also deals with day to day customer relations and operational issues. Diane runs the office and manages accounting, invoicing, and payroll, and general administration. June though now retired after having working for over 50 years on the farm still lives on site and has a continued keen interest in the business.
The Collison family in their crop of column stocks.
Each year J.A Collison’s produce in excess of 19 million stems of cut flowers under 6 hectares of glass and polythene tunnels. They work in an ethically sound and environmentally responsible manner having invested in a biomass boiler to heat the tulip production area, installed solar panels on building roofs and built reservoirs in order to collect and store rain water.
The Cut Flower Centre
The Cut Flower Centre (CFC) is a project funded by AHDB Horticulture for the benefit of the UK cut flower industry. The location of the CFC is Rookery Farm at Holbeach St Johns; it takes over from the successful work developed at the Kirton Research Centre from 2006 to 2008. The facilities consist of about 600 sq.m of outdoor plots, a 7.9m x 38.1m single span Haygrove Spanish tunnel and a 22.7 x 38.1m triple span Pro Tech Spanish tunnel.
Trick Delphinium – new varieties on trial.
The CFC is here to help the UK cut flower industry as a whole and is run “by the industry, for the industry”. Its strategic direction is driven by a Management Group made up of key individuals who represent the whole cross section from grower through to supermarkets.
We grow over 50 million stems of cut flowers for supermarkets in the UK and mainland Europe. The reclaimed silt land around the Wash is well-suited to growing cut flowers and we keep extending the range of flowers that we produce.
Our harvest begins with daffodils in February and carries on into November with ornamental brassicas. In between we are busy with alliums, asters, sunflowers, Sweet Williams, gladioli and peonies. We are also the largest grower of delphinium cut flowers in the UK.
We pack and supply flowering bulbs to supermarkets.
No farm is complete without a food crop and we produce around 2000 tonnes of potatoes each year. Some of these are contracted to Waitrose, Tesco and Marks and Spencer.
Lambs Flowers Ltd.
Lamb’s Flowers Ltd is a small family business in Pinchbeck, near Spalding, Lincolnshire, and is run by Sue Lamb, with her husband Roger, and son Gareth.
A respected heavyweight in the growing world, Lamb’s Flowers has been growing commercially for almost 30 years. But their journey into flower production was something of a leap into the unknown.
Where it all began
“Roger used to work in agriculture,” says Sue, “but my career was in engineering.”
“We bought a 4.5 acre field and built our own house before deciding to quit our jobs and try our hand at flower growing.”
Now, you can find Sue Lamb’s beautiful flowers adorning the displays at big supermarkets like Waitrose and Asda and they sell to several direct mail companies as well. So how did they become such a successful and recognisable business?
When Lamb’s Flowers first started out, they began by putting up a few polytunnels to allow them to grow Dianthus, both outside and under cover. Then, as demand increased, they erected ¼ acre of new glasshouses which they filled with Alstroemeria. Over the years, they’ve gradually increased their growing area and now have 10 acres of glasshouses, plus cold stores and a pack house on site. They even operate a packing service for other farms who bring their locally grown products to them for packing.