FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What do we grow?
We grow one of the widest selections of "top fruit" and "stone fruit" in Kent . We have over 50 varieties of apples, pears, plums and cherries plus some damsons, quinces and cobnuts. Our orchards extend to about 40 acres in total.

Who do we sell to?
The main proportion of our apples is sold via a local co-operative to major supermarkets. We also supply some local outlets and autumn apple fayres.

Farm shop sales and "Pick Your Own" allow us to receive valuable customer feedback. Our aim is to produce fruit with the best possible flavour and eating quality for your enjoyment. We sell direct from the farm between August & December.

Why should I eat apples?
Fruit and vegetables are a basic essential for healthy eating. They contain antioxidants and are an excellent source of essential vitamins. Apples and other fruits are a major part of the "Five a Day" program. Equally importantly they are great to eat - no other fruit offers so much variety of taste and texture.

Are the apples organic?
We follow a scientific approach of Integrated Crop Management. Our orchards are constantly monitored and only treated when it is essential to control pests and diseases. Many natural predators live in the orchards and these are actively encouraged so as to preserve biodiversity.

Why do you have to spray?
Appearance is very important to consumers and we could not grow the quality produce demanded without the use of some fungicides and insecticides. We also need to control weeds and provide nutrients. These inputs are all expensive to buy and take time to apply so we aim to reduce applications and use natural products as far as possible. We have to grow fruit that satisfies the demands of the marketplace.

Is there any danger of residues?
Any new pesticide is subject to rigorous testing over many years before it can be approved for agricultural use. We adhere to strict regulations by not spraying close to harvest and all our fruit is liable to be analysed for residues. We are subject to a rigorous annual inspection by an independent organisation for farm assurance.

We know our fruit is 100% safe - we eat it all the time!

Why should I buy English fruit?
Our weather mix of rain, sun and generally moderate temperatures allow apples to develop exceptionally good texture and flavour. Buying English helps reduce food miles and supports the environment. Orchards are a haven for birds and other wildlife and a vital part of the English countryside.

Which apples should I buy?
Different varieties are best at different times of the year and everyone has their own personal favourites. Early season apples only last a few weeks whereas some of the later picked apples can keep over winter. English dessert apples are available from August to the following spring whilst Bramleys are in the supermarket all year.

LINKS:

http://www.orangepippin.com/ (information on apple varieties)

http://www.fruitforum.net/ (information on fruit growing)

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