We had a fun and informative visit to Barfoots farm on a sunny, if rather chilly, evening in mid July.
We all parked up and made our way round to the tractor and trailer. Everyone made light work of climbing up onto the trailer and we were soon bumping over the farm tracks on the tour.
Katie has given me the notes she took (I couldn’t remember all the facts and figures) while listening to our entertaining guide.
Barfoots grow, process, pack and market sweetcorn, kale, courgettes and other semi exotic vegetables. The farm was set up by Peter Barfoot in the 1970’s and has grown to employ over 200 people. They supply the major supermarkets and restaurants. There is a 3-4 month UK growing season for their main crop, sweetcorn, and they import from around the world to provide a year round supply.
Their farming methods are sustainable and ethical. The waste from the crops goes to their anaerobic digester plant, which makes enough renewable energy to power 3000 homes a year and also produces a trailer of organic fertilizer per day. This is a ‘loop’ system producing very little waste.
The highlight of the tour came as the tractor took us along the main Chichester to Pagham road from the sweetcorn fields to the courgette fields amidst the rush hour traffic. The tractor wasn’t quick and the queue behind us stretched back to Chichester. There were many surprised faces from passers-by as we drove along chatting and laughing – maybe they were wondering if we were the latest picking crew.
At the end of the tour we were all given some delicious corn to take home.
Thank you Barfoots for a great evening.
For more photos please click here.