meet our growers
The heart of our box scheme is a group of growers who work closely with River Nene Organic Farm. I have known many of them for years and feel very lucky that we are working with some of the best in the country. It makes my job much easier!
The expertise of the group varies. We have specialists like Alec and Karen Vallance, who grow lettuce and rocket on 26 acres of fenland near Kings Lynne. Alec and Karen have been growing organically since 2000. They are passionate about quality food and reconnecting people with the countryside and the way that food is produced. Our lettuces are also grown by Edwin Broad in Outwell, near Wisbech . I think it is important for us to have two lettuce growers with plenty of experience to spread the risk should the season throw anything particularly nasty at us. Adrian Izzard grows our protected crops like cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. He has 10 acres of land, with about one and a half acres under glass just south of Cambridge. Adrian, his wife Maryam and their daughter Isobella, converted the farm to grow their crops organically in 1996.
Round the corner from Adrian is Andrew Nottage at Russell Smith Farms in Duxford. Andrew grows some of our field crops like sweetcorn and leeks. Our northern most grower is Peter Richardson who runs a mixed farm in a little village called Newby Wiske, near Northallerton in Yorkshire. Not many growers are brave or skilful enough to take on tricky crops like broccoli and cauliflower, particularly on the fairly heavy Yorkshire soils around him. But Peter is a tremendous grower and his northern position benefits from longer day length during the summer. His cauliflower will make their way into the box in the next couple of weeks.
And last but of course not least is Stan Cliffe, the farm manager of River Nene Organic Farm. Stans experience is a tremendous asset to the box. In the last 40 years Stan has grown nearly every vegetable on offer