We can look back on an eventful growing year - of two halves. A wet and dark spring gave way to a very sunny and warm summer followed by a light autumn, resulting in a 5% increase in the 5-year average sunlight. In fact, there were 70 more hours of sunshine in July than the last two years – a heatwave and one of the UK’s hottest summers on record!
In what is a pivotal time for the food and farming sector it was a real pleasure to host Jane King, CEO of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (in February) and Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers’ Union (in July) spending time touring our glasshouses and meeting the team. Both visits, organised by the West Sussex Growers’ Association provided an opportunity to discuss the key challenges facing growers and the priorities for driving forward the development of British horticulture.
Thanks to everyone for making our third LEAF Open Farm Sunday such a huge success. We were thrilled when more than 1,500 people visited us, nearly double the number of visitors that attended our first event in 2014, amazing! It was also great to hear the positive response to our glasshouse tours and see all the fabulous entries in our photo competition - many thanks to everyone who entered and shared their day. You can view the video we made here.
For us, 2019 will mark 30 years of production here at Tangmere. What a milestone! We have seen so many changes over the years and can hardly believe how quickly time has flown by. To think back to 1989 with 7.5 acres of land which has now grown tenfold to 79 acres under glass.
30 years is a long time and we have achieved a lot at Tangmere, attributed to everyone involved – excellent teamwork and the best team spirit. We all can be very proud of our achievement.
Right now, our team in Spain are in full swing, busy harvesting peppers from the crops planted out in September at our 31-acre site. Here at Tangmere, the team are busy planting and once again, it feels good to see the young plants in the glasshouses as we look forward to our production starting in March.
Until next time, thank you for your continued support and may we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful bright new year!