Pear Necessities is a seven hectare organic top fruit farm based in near Goudhurst in Kent. We run a weekly market stall on Saturdays at the Stoke Newington Farmers market from September through to Christmas. We also supply some of the Better Food Traders veg schemes.
We are certified organic but try to do even better than organic standards where we can. We allow as much of the land as possible to become wild, to encourage bio-diversity and reduce the need for carbon-creating mowing. We don’t irrigate our trees other than when it rains. We also use no dig methods such as mulching to enhance soil health.
We try to help our customers understand how their produce is grown, and how our growing practices create more delicious fruit. Perhaps because we have a closer relationship with our customers – we love chatting to them on the market stall – they are more understanding of the small amount of fruit that has cosmetic imperfections than supermarket shoppers, and, in most cases, positively embrace it. We’re lucky that the markets we sell to are full of people who choose organic and know that a bit of scab on their pear doesn’t matter.
We invite volunteers to help out at the orchard when there are tasks that are fun to share, and we provide employment for our local neighbours. We currently have a poet in residence, Janet Harper, and we’ll be running a campsite in August to encourage more people to see how their fruit is grown. We’ve written a blog for Growing Communities so that people can learn more about us.
We aim to support the growth of small, planet and people friendly farming and land based business through working out how it can be done, and then doing it, in a real and practical way. We’ve taken part in the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (that will replace EU subsidy) tests and trials.