Riverford Wicked Leeks

Mike Fisher - Northdown Orchard

Mike Fisher

“I just bought a field,” says Mike Fisher. “Everything that's here, I put in.”

Fifteen years ago Mike bought a 12-acre piece of land in Hampshire and started to grow organic vegetables.

“I had been working as a weaver in a water-powered mill, and just got more and more interested in organic growing. I worked as a volunteer on an organic farm for a bit and realised I could do it for myself. Buying a piece of land was the perfect way in.”

In 1993 Mike started his own box scheme selling his crops to locals, which is still going strong today. He put a borehole in for water, built his own house and transformed the field into a thriving market garden.

“This isn’t the best growing land,” he admits. “It’s very thin, chalky soil. But with clover lays and green cover crops I’m gradually building the fertility. And it’s working. Every year it seems to get easier to plough, and biological pest controls seem less and less necessary as the natural balance between pests and beneficial predators establishes itself.”

“Red Spider Mite was a real problem to begin with, but as the hedges and borders got established it seems to have gone away.”

Mike is growing potatoes, beans, onions, garlic and cucumbers for the Riverford boxes.

“I wouldn’t know how to farm conventionally,” he says. “I’ve been organic all the way.”

Click here to add Mike’s veg to your order.