Growers & makers

Riverford's Devon Polytunnels

Riverford on Wash Farm is our Devon home, and has been for over 30 years. As well as growing lots of veg outdoors in the fields, we have several acres of polytunnels. Protected from the weather, we grow summery treats such as cherry tomatoes, award-winning mini cucumbers, fresh basil, lots of colourful chilli peppers, and more.

The polytunnels are overseen by Ed Scott, a Riverford stalwart. Ed has been with us since 2003 – we don’t know where we’d be without him and his green fingers! Ed and his team sample loads of different varieties to find the sweetest tomatoes and the crispest cucumbers, and grow them really slowly so they develop maximum flavour.

The polytunnels are a planet-friendly way to extend the UK season, allowing us to grow delicate salad veg year-round without artificial heat or light. And like everything we grow, it’s all 100% organic.

Because organic means never using artificial pesticides, our first line of defence against pests on the farm is biological control; that’s controlling pests by encouraging their natural enemies. The green borders and thriving hedgerows around our fields encourage lots of wildlife – but in the polytunnels, nature needs a bit of a helping hand. Every summer, we introduce native aphid predators like parasitic wasps and lacewing larvae, to keep our salads safe.

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