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.
Finding a maggot in your apple isn’t very nice, finding half is even worse! These little pests are caused by the codling moths, the caterpillars tunnel into the cores of apples making them useless. Organic gardener Mike Thurlow explains how you can control them.
On his organic allotment Mike Thurlow has been busy, the ground has already been dug over as part of his preparations for the summer. The first hard frosts have sweetened the parsnips and Brussels sprouts, whilst the winter cabbage and kale can be harvested as needed.