In 1999 Nick and Kathy Evans sold their home to buy a 6 acre field, a caravan and a glasshouse. Angus Davison of Haygrove Ltd offered them financial support; mentorship and the well respected Haygrove name. Together they formed Haygrove Sidlesham, growing strawberries and raspberries on the South Coast of England.
Today Haygrove Sidlesham Ltd. operates from 8 sites on the sunny south coast of England. We pick and pack more than 400 tons of fruit a year, most of which goes to supermarket or premier market customers. We seasonally employ more than 100 people from all over the world and are proud of our reputation as a well run family farm.
The sun is shining on the South Coast and we are picking the most beautiful berries.
We’re growing a wonderful variety bred for the Queen's Jubilee year, it's called Centenary and the first berries are HUGE.
These stem, or King, berries are going in a special pack for Waitrose. We are so careful with them, we even cut them from the plant with little snippers so they arrive in store in as good a condition as they possibly can be.
Nick says the cool nights and bright days are wonderful for fruit size and firmness. I say, YUM, give them to me NOW!
We're a little bit behind our original production schedule but we should be picking strawberries in volume next week. Here's a sneak preview - the very first of our 2016 Centenary strawberries!
In the sixteen years we've been farming strawberries, Nick has always presented me with the first berry of the season. Yesterday, after a crazy morning running around like a loon, I was delighted to come back to my office and find this beauty on my desk.
Reader, I ate it. IT WAS DELICIOUS.
Yours, The Farmer's Wife.
Just when you think you're through the winter storms along comes a late one. A really late one. We called a halt to tunnel building as soon as we knew Storm Katie was on the way, but about half were already up. Nick stalked BBC weather with a heart rate rising and falling in line with the predicted wind speed.