We’ve been growing vegetables organically at Low Luckens Farm near Hethersgill since 2003 and despite the difficulties imposed by a climate that’s too wet and cold we’re steadily expanding the range of locally grown organic produce available in Cumbria.
Our polytunnels produce tasty vegetables all year round. Summer and autumn crops include salads, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and green beans. During winter and early spring we specialise in nutritious leafy greens such as lettuce, chard, spinach and a wide range of Oriental and more unusual salad leaves.
To maintain year-round variety our boxes also contain an interesting assortment of produce supplied by other organic growers including potatoes from Cumbria and winter produce such as leeks, swedes, cabbages, celeriac, beetroot, carrots and onions direct from an organic farm near Edinburgh. All the produce we supply is certified by the Soil Association as organically grown and our licence numbers are G9021 and P9022.
All our produce is grown without pesticides or artificial fertilisers. The spread of pests and diseases is minimised by careful attention to crop rotation and use of techniques found only in small scale organic horticulture. For example weed control involves hours of hoeing and hand weeding.
Healthy plants are more likely to fight off pests and diseases, and are better able to compete with weeds, so we aim to optimise crop health by providing plants with fertile well structured soil. This is a long term project and a particular challenge at Low Luckens where the native soil is less than a spade’s depth of poorly drained loam over heavy clay. Fertility comes from home made compost and organic farmyard manure.
Low Luckens Farm is the home of the Low Luckens Organic Resource Centre, which aims to promote sustainable farming, local healthy food and countryside conservation. The Centre runs a programme of educational activities for visitors of all ages who as part of their experience of farming, learn about growing organic vegetables in Eva’s Organics’ polytunnels and outdoor garden.