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Thanet Earth

UK: 10% increase in homegrown cucumbers

The arrival of the first UK-grown cucumbers each year is a much welcomed moment in the retail calendar. Once the British harvest begins then we can reduce our reliance on imported products and their associated food miles.
For 2018 there’s an estimated 10% increase in the number of cucumbers grown in the UK, thanks to the opening of a new greenhouse at Thanet Earth. In a UK first, the greenhouse is equipped with sodium lights to provide extra light and warmth through the winter months and with diffuse glass for better distribution of light. The 6.1ha greenhouse is expected to begin its harvest in the first week of February.

Photo: Arjan de Gier

There are now two cucumber-growing greenhouses at Thanet Earth with over 12ha growing area in total. Across the UK it’s estimated that there are now just over 100ha* of cucumber greenhouses in commercial production, so the Thanet Earth addition brings welcome new volumes to market. Thanet Earth cucumber production uses a high wire growing system that’s considerably higher yielding than conventional systems; grower Arjan de Gier is able to produce significant volumes of consistently top class product in his sustainable but intensive growing system.

Speaking ahead of the first harvest Arjan said: “Since we began planning our business here in Thanet almost ten years ago, we’ve aspired to have two greenhouses in production for cucumbers. I’m pleased we’ve achieved this goal, developing our reputation for innovation and investment in technology too.”

* data from DEFRA and Cucumber Growers Association

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