Northdown Orchard

Crops

young plants at Northdown Orchard
Photo: Palden Jenkins

With our vegetable boxes each week is like a harvest festival. Every week we include the basics: potatoes, onions, carrots and broccoli or cabbage. We also include salad leaves or lettuce every week, even in the deepest winter we can cut salads from our greenhouses. We grow a wide range of crops so the contents of the boxes vary week to week.

The produce follows the seasons. We use a heated propagating house, greenhouses and crop covers to extend the season and to enable us to harvest all year round. In late spring we have bunched beetroot and radish, spring greens and fresh garlic. As the summer progresses there are new potatoes, cucumbers, beans and broccoli; followed by high summer crops of tomatoes, peppers and courgettes. As the days draw in the sweetcorn ripens followed by pumpkins and squash. The first frosts herald the Swedes and parsnips. Sprouts are ready for Christmas together with the splendid January king and savoy cabbages. Purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower and our fine leeks take the cycle back to the spring crops.

Sweetcorn - it is difficult to find good organic seed, in the past we've used conventional F1 varieties from Tozer Seeds but have now found Danaum from Stormy Hall Seeds an open pollinated Bio-dynamic variety

Beetroot

planting by hand at Northdown Orchard

Photo: Palden Jenkins

Hand planting Chioggia beetroot, 4 seeds are sown into each compost block and grown on in the greenhouse before being transplanted into the field.

Greens

Red pakchoi, green pak choi, ruby streaks, golden frills, rocket, red mustard and fine leaf cress drilled in late March into a polytunnel for harvest in early May

Lettuce

Propagating House. Young plants are raised in compost modules before transplanting in the field

Most plants are started in trays on the sand benches in the propagating house. We sow 4 different lettuce varieties every fortnight.

Potatoes

planting potatoes

Potatoes are our most mechanised crop. The tractor mounted planting machine will plant two rows of potatoes and ridge them up.

We also have tractor mounted ridgers and weeders and a harvester that digs the potatoes but we still have to follow behind with buckets and crates to pick the potatoes up.


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Coming Up

Order your vegbox

Seasonal vegetables and salads harvested all year round. Order your local, organic, quality veg box here

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