Pinchbeck flower grower on unsettled times

Sue Lamb.
Sue Lamb.

We have passed the longest day and I don’t think we have enjoyed three consecutive days of sunshine, writes Sue Lamb.

The weather seems to be in constant turmoil rather like British politics.

Continual rain and no sunshine makes crops much harder to grow, both inside and out.

Inside humidity is harder to keep right; we had some glass flooded twice, hail stones the size of Maltesers blocking gutters, seen outdoor fields look more like rice fields than flower fields. Crops which normally flower in eight weeks taking ten looking for sunshine. It is costlier to harvest outside when conditions are so bad and difficult to keep quality at its best. Challenges we all have to rise to.

Away from the weather we have the Brexit vote to contend with. A decision I think long term we will be better for as long as we soon get some clear leadership and decision making. The ornamental industry is very demanding upon labour; for the latter years we have enjoyed the benefits of migrant labour from the EU and we need to know this will continue. There is not a pack house, be it fruit, vegetables, meat or flowers and plants, that could function without these people, and growers are the same. I don’t always believe people outside of these industries realise how reliant upon these workers we have become and most of it is not short term seasonal work, it is for full time, long term positions. In turn this creates further jobs, and makes for a more prosperous area to live in. Investment with labour saving technology can only go so far. Long term I hope there are few changes but for the immediate future we can do without the uncertainty which we seem to be seeing a lot of.

So going forward we are looking for sunshine and decisions for a bright future!