About Us & How
The Project Started

 

We are the first grower in England to establish a commercial Aronia berry plantation

 

How the project started

Andrew Tickle has lived at Johnsons Farm for the majority of his life. He started his own Agricultural Services business in 1983 and developed a Contract Packhouse for fruit and Veg in 1992. As farming trends have changed the services Andrew has offered have adjusted to suit the market forces (at the time) and he has now decided that the time has come to develop the land use at Johnsons Farm which has been permanent pasture since the early 1990’s.

Andrew was looking to grow a crop which fitted into a specialist niche market and that could flourish in poor soils. Situated on the very top of the North Downs in Kent, the Grade 3 soils on the farm are very heavy with lots of flint over chalk and so a hardy, woody plant with good roots was required.

To read our FULL STORY please click here (as published in The Fruit Grower 2015.)
 

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Learning how to grow Aronia Berries

Having decided that the Aronia Berry was the niche crop to grow Andrew carried out some extensive market research and was baffled by the findings; the people “in the trade” were not aware of any other plantations and over 90% of the general public were also unaware of the existence of the fruit. These facts were very surprising as the crop is widely grown in Eastern Europe and in North America with a massive range of products already available on the market.
 
Our first plantation was established in 2011 with the first crop produced in 2013. This in itself is quite an achievement and nobody even knew if the plants would grow in the UK let alone know if they would be attacked by pests and diseases. At this point we should say that there is a small plantation in Scotland and also one in North Wales.

   
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