Andrew Arnold is the third generation of his family to grow bare-rooted brassica plants in the fields of Cornwall.
In a county probably more famous for ice cream than vegetables, this method of producing a staple British dinner table favourite harks back to traditional farming times.
The Arnold family has specialised in growing traditional and heritage varieties in this time-honoured fashion since 1924, ensuring these plants will crop over a longer period than modern varieties.
Andrew, who as a young boy would help out his father and grandfather in the fields, outlined the advantages of buying bare-rooted plants. He said: “Very few growers use this method these days; generally you find brassicas grown in modules, under glass or in plastic tunnels.
“Hybrid varieties of plants are mainly used for this method which produces uniform vegetables but they will all harvest at the same time, same week!
“You – the gardener, allotment owner and farm shop or field gate sales person – most probably would like varieties which will crop over an extended period. Bare-rooted plants are grown and pulled at a larger size when a good fibrous root system has developed. Field-grown plants are hardier, as they are already accustomed to the weather.
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