Paul and Sara grow top fruit on approximately 100 acres across 5 sites in Kent:- Cranbrook, Wateringbury, Marden, Goudhurst and Chart Sutton.
In the early nineties Paul and Sara bought their current home which included four and a half acres of mature, but neglected conference pears as well as wild flower meadows. This awakened an interest in fruit farming and in 1994 they decided the time was right for a complete career change. The idea germinated that organic production of top fruit was possible, if not extremely difficult. They therefore purchased an existing top fruit farm in Cranbrook called Hartley Lands Farm and proceeded to convert it to organic standards.
Paul and Sara have some clearly defined aims:
- Our principal aim is to produce a high quality food product in a fully sustainable manner with the absolute minimum impact on the surrounding environment.
- To utilise and maintain the farms natural ponds whilst at the same time enhancing the the wildlife habitat and creating as much bio-diversity on our farm as possible.
- To learn from best practice in Organic Apple & Pear Production from around the world, trialling new and exciting varieties, specifically developed for their eating quality and their resistance to pests and diseases
- To market, package and promote our products using the most environmentally sustainable means.
- To sell as much of our product locally, thereby minimising the “food miles” they have to travel.
Even if we were not producing to organic standards our aims would remain the same.