GARSON FARM SUSTAINABLE FARMING POLICY
Our farming policy at Garson Farm Esher follows the company mission of safe, high-quality production combined with sustainable methods, with a long-term commitment to environmentally and socially responsible farming.
We are always looking to utilise modern integrated farming techniques, to sustainably produce high-quality fruits, vegetables and flowers, with good flavour, texture and appearance, for our local community to see grow in natural environments, pick and enjoy.
CONNECTION TO THE LAND
The Thompson family have farmed Garson Farm, Surrey, for five generations - spanning over 150 years. This has been made possible by working closely with nature to care for the local environment and have an in-depth understanding of how to look after the lands sustainably through a combination of traditional and modern methods.
We have proudly halved our water usage over 20 years. Irrigation for the PYO farm and Esher garden centre plants is provided from the River Mole.
All fruit crops are trickle irrigated by a system of underground pipes which places the water directly amongst the plant roots.
RICH IN NATIVE FAUNA
The wide range of fruit, vegetables and flowers grown on the farm helps prevent pests and diseases.
Garsons native bird population has increased in recent years, particularly of pheasant, lapwing and green woodpeckers, and we have an abundance of native butterfly species.
Biological methods are preferred for pest control, and we encourage natural predators to control pests. For example, Phacelia flowers are grown adjacent to strawberries, favoured by lacewings, which feed on aphids - a pest to these crops. In our orchards, pheromone traps are used to monitor moth populations, reducing the need to apply controls.
USE OF PESTICIDES
Strenuous efforts are made to minimise pesticide application, exercising regular expert agronomist advice. Our spray operator farmers are qualified and regularly trained.
Fruit and vegetables are sampled and tested for safety by the Trading Standards Office, with a 100% pass rate and have always been deemed entirely safe.
Our crops have grass alleyways, boundaries and riverbanks, with surplus fields sown with grass. These act as beetle banks and insect corridors so that insects can pass between crops.
Five kilometres of hedges, windbreaks (of indigenous tree species) and two copse areas have been created in recent years.
Garson Farm also features a further 50 acres of traditional river flood meadows. Once a widespread feature of the English landscape, these types of meadows are now increasingly rare, and support a vast range of native flora and fauna. We do not fertilise these meadows; they are used for grazing and cut in late summer for animal hay.
We have made the pledge to remove plastic punnets. We now offer complimentary bio-degradable cardboard punnets across 90% of the farm; rather than mass landfill, the remaining 10% of punnets are made up of previously ordered and pre-manufactured plastic punnets, which will soon be discontinued.
WELLNESS & FOOD MILES
Over 100,000 local customers enjoy picking in Garson Farm fields every year.
By picking at Garson Farm, they help achieve a reduction in food miles and benefit from exercise, education and fresh air, as well as the health-giving properties of eating fresh fruit and vegetables.