Gaskains grows over 120 acres of strawberries which produce approximately 1700t of fruit
We grow a selection of Ever bearer varieties that provide summer long cropping. These include Premier, Merit and TB1 from the Plant Sciences breeding programme and Red Glory from Redeva.
We also grow Elsanta and Sonata which are both June bearer varieties.
The majority of our production is grown on a Table Top system which allows us to grow fruit 1.3 metres from the ground in a Coir grow bag (Coir being an environmentally sustainable alternative to Peat).
This not only makes harvesting much easier which is good news for the strawberry pickers but also reduces the risk of soil borne diseases and allows good airflow around the plant thus creating a better growing environment.
Those strawberries not grown on table top systems are produced on miniature table top systems (again in Coir grow bags) raised just above the raised bed that they are based on, whilst more difficult to pick we retain elements of the advantages of the table top system – i.e. less contact with the soil and improved air flow, whilst taking advantage of a warmer growing environment to encourage earliness.
Strawberries are harvested from late April until early November.
Nearly all our soft fruit is destined for supermarket sales although a percentage also makes it up to Central London restaurants and local food retailers.
We grow over 70 acres of Raspberries on the farm which produce in excess of 375t of fruit.
We grow 2 different types of Raspberry – Prima cane and Flori cane.
Our Prima cane Raspberries are Radiance and Grandeur which are new varieties taken from the Plant Sciences breeding programme.
These varieties are providing great flavour, colour, size and shelf life which combined with high yields are making them exciting varieties for the farm
Our Flori cane varieties are Tulameen, Ample and Octavia which help to provide us with a good spread of raspberry availability throughout the year. Tulameen in particular has a fantastic flavour and has long been the industry standard for taste
Raspberries are harvested from early June through into early November.
We currently grow a limited amount of ‘Incentive’ blackberries on trial (the largest plantation in the world!) and we are watching them with great interest – they appear to offer great taste and we look forward to learning more about them.
We grow 5 acres of pink desert ‘sweet eating’ Gooseberries named Pax.
We grow 100 acres of Blackcurrants on contract for Glaxco Smithkline. Which ultimately end up in Ribena.