In the growing shed of Capel Organic mushrooms the ‘unloved’ mushrooms, those that are misshapen, bruised or damaged are sold onto customers in the catering industry. Patrick Herne explained to Ken Crowther about the different types of mushrooms and where they sold too.

Capel Mushrooms was founded in 1962, and is now run by the founder’s two sons, Damian and Patrick Herne. In 1988 facing a number of problems as a small grower in a competitive market, they turned organic. Patrick took Ken Crowther on a tour of the sheds to explain about the process of growing organic mushrooms.

An important bi-product of mushroom product is the remaining compost. After the mushrooms have been harvested the compost is steam sterilised and sold on to members of the public, landscapers and organic farms. Patric Hearn from Capel Mushrooms explained the process to Ken Crowther.

In the greenhouse, organic gardener Mike Thurlow is growing some of the frost-tender vegetables such as French and runner beans, courgettes and pumpkins. They will all be planted outdoors in May once the danger of the last frost has passed. Before being planted outside they need to go through the process of hardening off.