Webinar: UK stone fruit production within a mixed protected cropping environment

Date : 4th July 2024 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This OGA webinar will hear from Nathan Richards who will talk about agroforestry under cover – growing stone fruit in mixed polytunnels in west Wales.

Nathan will discuss the experimental stone fruit production (peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries) within mixed horticultural protected cropping systems, that he has been working on at Troed Y Rhiw Farm, Ceredigion.

Nathan has been interested in how better might we utilise the full height, space and time of protected cropping areas [polytunnels and greenhouses] that often only uses the lower storey for vegetable production.

We hope during this session to discuss whether stone fruit trees can be commercially viable and incorporated into this space, and how climate change modelling makes this look favourable for development in the UK.

Nathan will give his insight on fruit and root stock selection, pruning regimes, problems and what we have learned on our journey so far.

More about Nathan and Troed Y Rhiw Farm

Nathan Richards is the partner owner with his wife, Alicia Miller, of Troed y Rhiw Organics, a family-run Soil Association certified organic farm committed to farming and growing with nature. The farm produces a wide range of vegetables, herbs, soft and top fruit and flowers sold through a local box scheme and producer’s market. It is a mixed farm with a small herd of Highland cattle, occasional pigs and a small chicken unit.

The farm’s ethos is built around a belief in the necessity of farming sustainably in the 21st century. This means a whole farm holistic approach to food production which starts with the microbial worlds within our soil and encompasses everything from habitat protection and creation, to the role that the farm has within the local community. We focus on local food, serving our immediate community through a box scheme and local producers’ markets. Staying local means food is fresh, mostly picked and sold on the same day.

He describes himself as a “Wild dream realizer, optimist, careful planner, fixer of tractors and machines, problem solver, creative thinker, loud whistler and floral shirt wearer.”

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