What makes us special?
In the past we have kept very quiet about what makes us special, so much so that we have been accused of not being technical enough or innovative. Far from it. We just didn’t want to show off! Now we have decided to be more open and show the world what makes us special. Innovations that minimise our environmental impact have always been important to us as has producing the best quality herbs all year round.
Making use of every drop of rain.
Lincolnshire Herbs was specifically built with economic water consumption in mind. Irrigation water is never put back into the ground, we recycle every drop. Our herbs drink a lot of water and none of it comes from the main water supply. 95% of our water is collected from the roof and is stored in our reservoir. This is called rainwater harvesting, Rainwater harvesting is increasingly common but it does planned into new buildings as its difficult do implement with existing structures. Lincolnshire Herbs were one of the first glasshouse companies to use rainwater harvesting back in 1998. Unfortunately, Lincolnshire is getting drier so we have recently installed a bore hole and we pump water into our reservoir when required. The water that doesn’t get used is cleaned by our specially designed filtering system and re-used. So we literally use and re-use every drop of rain!
Herbs love to be tickled!
It’s true! Click on the Tickled Pink button to find out more.
Growing without Pesticides
- We don’t use pesticides, fungicides or herbicides within our glasshouse. We use practical and innovative techniques that have been developed by our team.
- We use biological predators that feed on other pests – we call this bio control. We buy bio control in packets and bottles every week where we place them throughout the crop
- We use mechanical control with the plant ticklers.
- We plant chives within the parsley crop because aphids don’t like the smell of chives (and other plants such as garlic). So simple but effective. Try it at home!
- We keep clean! Keeping the environment around the plants clean is really key. We steam clean our growing gutters before they are reused reducing the risk of disease.
We listen to shoppers - reducing herb waste at home is a key concern
Through our extensive market research with the food and grocery experts at the IGD in 2009, we know that one of the current key concerns of herb shoppers is waste. People don’t like throwing away food and one of the barriers to buying herbs is concern over potential waste. We believe that offering the right pot size is critical. Shoppers don’t want to buy more pot and peat than herb!
Lincolnshire Herbs offer 3 different pot sizes with numerous different specifications. We have also designed a herb tray that can be used to look after the herbs, extending their life further as well a herb care booklet to help consumers to get best value from their potted herbs.
Striving for sustainable composts
Lincolnshire Herbs is committed to finding a sustainable alternative to using peat. The key word is ‘sustainable’. You can grow herbs without peat but the alternatives aren’t really sustainable, for example, shipping coco husks from the Caribbean. At the moment there are no alternatives that grow crops to the high standards that peat does. Lincolnshire Herbs are involved in a project to manufacture a peat alternative using sustainable waste streams. Partners in this project include the Institute of Food Research (Norwich), HDC, Del Monte, Bulrush, ASDA, Farplants and Organic Recycling (Spalding). After 10 years of research we still have a way to go before we can truly say we have found a sustainable, cost effective alternative to peat. Currently, we are using a peat reduced mix, which incorporates green waste.
Harvesting by hand.
Nowadays you can harvest and sleeve crops automatically. The technology for machine harvesting herbs has actually been around for over 10 years. We constantly re-evaluate our position on machine harvesting but we still believe that harvesting is more than just a mechanical process, it’s the key quality control point within our business.
Packing can be a very pressurised job especially at busy times. We have mechanised our packing line so that following a last manual visual inspection the plants are labelled with a date code automatically and them transferred into a box. We are currently looking at ways we can improve our packing process. Watch this space!