We are incredibly proud of our strawberries and produce the following varieties: Sweet Eve, Eves Delight, Summer Blush and Centenary.
Withers Farm has been an industry leader in table top production and the use of coir, with trials beginning in 1996. We now grow 130 acres of strawberries in coir bags on table tops.
All of our strawberry picking is done on table tops which leads to easier and faster picking, is better paid and gives less stress on the back and knees.
Coir use is more environmentally friendly than commonly used peat, as it is a by-product of coconut production in South India and Sri Lanka .
We now include a number of 8 row table tops which have a higher density of plant; this increases yield even further.
The flavour of English blueberries is exceptional. Our blueberry varieties are: Duke, Bluecrop, Draper, Liberty, Aurora, and Darrow.
We have adopted our own system for growing blueberries, using our skills in substrate growing and perennial bush and tree growing; this involves pots of coir or peat, grown in beds in tunnels then moved to outdoor production.
British blueberries are available from June till September and the start of the season usually features the Duke variety.
Blueberries have high levels of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins – the compounds that colour blueberries blue. The perfect blueberry should be “dusty” in colour.
Fresh blueberry consumption per person more than doubled between 2007 and 2012 and a 2012 study suggested that eating at least one serving of blueberries a week slowed cognitive decline by several years.
Our apple varieties are: Junami, Cox, Gala and Bramley.
The apples are grown in single rows and intensive 4 or 5 row beds with up to 2000 trees per acre. The soils and south west slopes make the site ideal for Cox and Gala production.
Apples are a member of the rose family and an apple tree can take four to five years to produce its first fruit.
The science of apple cultivation is known as Pomology and there are more than 8000 varieties of apples!
Kiwiberries are our newest addition and we currently have just under 20 acres of the plants. 40 tons of kiwiberries were picked in 2017 with picking commencing in August.
Actinidia arguta, or the hardy kiwi, is a perennial vine native to Japan, Korea, Northern China, and Russian Siberia. It produces a small fruit resembling the kiwifruit however is often sweeter and can be eaten whole. Its thin-walled exterior is smooth and leathery and does not need to be peeled.
Kiwiberries are considered a super fruit and are the most nutrient dense of all the major fruits – they are packed with more Vitamin C than an orange!
Kiwiberries have a short season and involve a lot of care and labour to grow; this means that unfortunately the novelty berry can come with a relatively high price.
We cultivate three different varieties of kiwiberry: Weiki, Ananasnaya and Geneva.