Carrots are our main crop and we produce approximately 4300 tonnes per year. Or if you prefer, the equivalent of 6 million bags of carrots. The carrot seeds are sown between April and the first week of June, into a fine stone free seed bed. If everything goes to plan they should be ready for harvest 120 days later. The carrots go direct from the farm to the pack house where they are washed, graded and packed for our customers.
We harvest the carrots fresh from our fields starting in early August through to March. In November the carrots destined for the winter harvest are covered with a layer of straw to keep them nice and cosy through the winter months.
This is a relatively new addition to our crop portfolio. One of our customers spotted them in our new product development (NPD) trial and really liked its super sweet flavour and the fact it was shaped more like a carrot than a beetroot. In fact, it’s so sweet you can eat it raw straight from the field like an apple plucked straight from the tree!
We harvest the beetroot when it is at its sweetest during July, August and September. To get the best roots possible we pick by hand ensuring only those roots that are ready to eat leave the field and the smaller ones are left to grow on.
Last season we successfully grew and produced organic pest free brassicas for the first time. We adapted some of the methods and good practice we have developed over the years growing organic carrots and swede and applied them to growing brassicas. One other key factor for producing pest free organic brassicas was covering all the crops with nets. The holes are so small you would struggle to push a grain of sand through so it is perfect for keeping any pests out that may want to attack our crop. It does let water and sunshine through though and has really good airflow which is the perfect environment for growing healthy, clean produce under.
Going forward we will continue to grow and improve the availability of organic brassicas in the UK for our customers. Available from July until December we grow approximately 1.8 million heads of broccoli, 500,000 heads of cauliflower, 150,000 heads of pointed cabbage, 115,000 heads of savoy and 20 tons of brussel’s sprouts. Our broccoli will be grown mainly on the fine grade one silts of south Lincolnshire and the cabbage will be grown alongside the carrot operation in north Norfolk on the sands. Here we have the option to irrigate and water which will be essential for growing the best fresh tasting organic brassicas.
Onions are one of the hardest crops to grow organically. They grow very slowly and do not compete very well with weeds.
Consequently, we spend a lot of time in the onion field picking weeds out from the crop. We grow the onions from seed rather than from sets because an onion grown from seed is a year younger and will store for longer if we need it to.
Taylorgrown was formed in 2005 when John Taylor decided to step away from managing someone else's Organic vegetable business to start his own. This was done in partnership with his friends and business partners the Burgess family. Taylorgrown has been growing and specialising in Organic vegetables ever since. Root crops we currently grow include Carrots, Onions and Beetroot.
A significant investment was made in 2014 and Taylorgrown branched out into growing Organic brassicas such as Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbages. In 2015 Produce World announced the acquisition of Taylorgrown Ltd and we are now a fully owned subsidiary of the group. A flagship Organic vegetable growing business providing innovation and quality for our customers.