Name: Adrian Izzard, Wildcountry Organics
Where: Great Abingdon, South Cambridgshire
Crops you are likely to find in your box: Tomatoes, Salad Bags, Cucumbers, Aubergine, Herbs, Peppers
Adrian has a PhD in biological chemistry and has chosen to utilise his skills on his smallholding on the land settlement estate at Great Abington. Adrian has specialized in growing vegetables in greenhouses, which dominate most of his farm, so he is our most prolific supplier of tomatoes, salad leaves, peppers, cucumbers and lettuces.
Of all the local growers around Cambridge the relationship between Adrian Izzard and The Cambridge Organic Food Co. is an extra special one. Adrian was the first grower to supply COFCO directly. He completed the conversion of his ten acre smallholding in Great Abington to organic in 1998, around the same time that COFCO started trading from a shop in Cambridge. Adrian came into the shop with a punnet of the best tasting organic tomatoes we’d ever tried and our businesses have grown together ever since.
The concept of greenhouse farming is similar to that of, passively capturing energy from the sun, only in a greenhouse the energy is converted into nutrition rather than electricity. This has enabled Adrian to produce a remarkably large output of food from a relatively small farm. With careful planning and choice of crops Adrian has extended the length of his growing season and is now getting at least some crops all the year round. He also looks to get some productive use out of every little nook and cranny around the farm, which he does to good effect by looking at what grows well and encouraging wild varieties.
The result of all this work is a farm that produces a phenomenal amount of nutrition per acre. A great way to counter the popular argument raised by critics of the organic movement that organic food could not feed the world.
Pests are controlled within the greenhouse environment with biological control methods (i.e. natural predators are introduced to control the numbers of pests).