We are incredibly proud of our strawberries and produce the following varieties: Sweet Eve, Summer Blush and Centenary, with a lot more exceptionally tasting varieties being trialed each year .
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 both South India and Sri Lanka .
We constantly look into new tunnel and table-top ideas to develop easier and faster picking methods, allowing for better rates of pay to be achieved by our picking teams.
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. The 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 .
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. Our apples are stored locally at Wye Fruit in our cold store and are then packed there, ready for Tesco or Aldi stores.
Apples are a member of the ” Rosacea ” family – In genereal, apple trees can take 4 or 5 years to produce fruit and continue to crop for up to 15 years. The modern varieties grown at Withers Farm on a post & wire system allow production to start in the 2nd year after planting.
The science of apple cultivation is known as Pomology and there are more than 8,000 varieties of apples!
Kiwiberries are our newest addition and we currently have just over 20 acres of plants. 40 tons of kiwiberries were picked in the 2019 season, with picking commencing in August. Picking Kiwiberries brings alot of new experience and joy to workers as well as diversification in terms of crops grown in our beautiful countryside.
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, not furry 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 these berries can come at a relatively high price.
We cultivate three different varieties of kiwiberry: Weiki, Ananasnaya and Geneva.