Muddy, or waters?
Jul 16, 2015
Bishop Hill in Deben, Greens

As noted yesterday, Lord Deben is concerned about the loss of peat soils in East Anglia. According to his CCC report:

Peat soils have high organic content (over 50%) and as such tend to be very fertile. Such land provides a comparative advantage for intensive high-value cropping, including vegetables, salads and horticulture.

It was therefore interesting to read David Derbyshire's article in the Mail today about how soil-free market gardeners are becoming significant players in the battle to supply UK supermarkets:

In Britain, around 10 per cent of strawberries and other summer fruit are grown in glass houses. The biggest of these operations is Thanet Earth, an extraordinary £135 million array of four massive glasshouses — each the size of 14 football pitches — in Kent.

Three more greenhouses are in the pipeline. Using the hydroponic technique, they are thought to generate 225 million tomatoes, 16 million peppers and 13 million cucumbers a year.

Not one of those vegetables — sold in major supermarkets such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s — has ever come close to real soil.

Perhaps Lord D will need to find something else to worry himself about.



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