The cold start to 2013 affected arable growers but it’s also had a knock-on effect on one of the most important products for this time of year.
Organic grower Andrew Dennis reports he has just 120 turkeys at Woodlands Farm at Kirton because of the cold spring, which meant the eggs didn’t hatch properly – and a fox managed to get into the paddock.
As a result, the farm is looking at being sold out this year, but has lined up another organic farmer in Rutland to help fulfil orders.
Nevertheless, Andrew maintains that organic doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive, which is the common perception. He says his staff regularly check supermarkets to ensure that produce is competitively priced.
Now, he is urging Christmas shoppers to make sure their festive fayre is 100 per cent local and organic.
He says: “Consumers benefit by buying direct from the farm. There is no supermarket profit margin to pay and our produce is often cheaper than the large stores. In terms of taste, let alone in terms of creating rural employment, we believe we have a product that is better for your taste buds and for the community!”
Andrew, a member of the Country Land and Business Association, also farms organic vegetables and has pedigree cattle on his 690-acre family farm, established in 1870. The turkey flock was started in 1996, the year it was decided the farm would go organic.