Friday, March 11, 2016 - 12:30

Fruit and vegetable growers have a great opportunity to share their knowledge at the latest Cornwall and South West Fruit Focus event at the Eden Project on Saturday March 19.

The event, to be held in the Core education centre, is aimed at growers, arable and livestock farmers wishing to diversify, craft cider makers and orchardists, policy makers, students involved in plant related subjects and all others interested in food and growing issues.

Organisers say there are many challenges to our food supply in the UK and fruit production is no exception.

With a range of experts present, the event aims to explore whether past experience linked to horticulture, agriculture, fruit and food and drink production may have a future role to play.

The day is being organised by Cornwall-based fruit-growing expert Andrew Ormerod.

He said: “One of the biggest questions is whether agroforestry systems for arable, vegetable and livestock farms contribute to diversified farm income and adaption to climate change. We will be exploring these possibilities with Stephen Briggs who has 4,500 dessert apple trees on an organic arable farm near Peterborough.

“We consider the state of horticulture with Andrew Tinsley from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. What glimmers of hope are there for the future?  

“How will growers and workers fare, do robotics have a role to play in reducing labour costs? Or can labour forces involved in fruit and vegetable production work together more effectively? Chris Rose is an expert in this area and will be speaking on the day.

“Anyone who is seriously interested in the craft of cider making will know Andrew Lea’s name from his book and web site on the subject.

“He will relate the history and craft of cider making since the 17th century and consider future implications of developments in the UK and overseas cider making.”

The pros and cons of buying land will be addressed by Nick Millard whose expertise is in land valuation will be on hand plus some guidance from Rebecca Marshall of the Community Land Advisory Service, whose advice has helped to shape a local start up grower project.  

Philippe Parageaud has experience in nursery production in France the USA and UK and will be talking about modern day commercial nursery fruit crop production systems. 

Andrew Ormerod will be joined by Iain Davies of The Lost Gardens of Heligan, shedding light on ‘forgotten’ propagation techniques with potential for revival. 

There will also be a soapbox session for short presentations for anyone wishing share a success story or air a problem relating to fruits, nuts or horticulture in general.

The event runs from 10am to 5pm. Entry costs £25, including a pasty lunch (£20 for students).

For details and booking contact Andrew Ormerod alchemy_360(at) or 07908978208