A relatively new crop grown in the UK, blueberries were the original superfood. Our growers plant a range of varieties such as Driscoll's® Sweet Jane™ (early summer crop), Jolene™ (mid season) and Barbara Ann™ (later) to ensure the best flavour from June to September. Unlike other berries such as strawberries and raspberries, blueberry bushes prefer acidic soil with the majority of our growers using pots to grow their blueberry bushes which are also protected under polytunnels. They like to be watered little and often depending on the weather and the moisture in the air.
It can take up to 5 to 7 years for a blueberry bush to reach its optimum crop. The berries are formed from the white blossom with green fruit developing following several weeks later and finally the green berries mature into a deep dark blueberry. Taste is the only way to determine if the blueberries are ready for harvest!
Below are featured a few of our award winning growers that have been recognised for their innovation and high quality fruit.
Lutton Farm is a family run 70ha soft fruit farm situated on the border between Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. The Long family, have been growing soft fruit here since 1960, starting out as a small pick-your-own farm and expanding to become a supplier to the UK`s premium supermarkets. They grow around 30 hectares of blueberries under tunnels and outdoors. Owner, Stephen Long was one of the first blueberry growers in England after trialling a few blueberry bushes many years ago! He has now developed his own recipe of soil and nutrients for planting the bushes in which ensures the best flavour in every berry.
Founded in 1988 by Angus Davison, Haygrove began as a strawberry growing degree project on 1 hectare of rented land in Herefordshire, UK. This original farming business has steadily expanded in geography and techniques to become an all-year-round berry, and long season cherry and organic grower, supplying the best retailers in the UK, Europe and South Africa.
Haygrove Ledbury is their original 'home farm' situated just outside the vibrant market town of Ledbury in Herefordshire, UK. The farm is in a sheltered south facing valley, is approximately 50 hectares, and specialises in blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries as well as in organic strawberries.
Haygrove have been growing and trialling blueberry varieties in the UK for 10 years. As with all the fruit crops they produce, they are committed to being expert substrate blueberry growers! They are proud to be at the forefront of innovation and their blueberry trials are vital to the expansion of the blueberry crop at Haygrove UK. They have more blueberry varieties in their trial areas than any other fruit and are always exploring new techniques, including soil grown and outdoor grown plants.
Mee Farmers are an established arable farm located in the Nene Valley, Northamptonshire. The farm is owned and managed by husband and wife team Peter and Zoe Mee. In just three years not only have Zoe and Peter successfully diversified into blueberries and supply several supermarkets they have also won an award in doing so! In 2017 they were recognised in the Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drinks Awards winning the Innovations Award.
Castleton Farm is a family run business owned by the Mitchells. Located in the Howe of the Mearns in south Aberdeenshire, Murray, Rhoda and their son Ross, have been growing fruit for over 20 years and are now one of Scotlands biggest commercial growers. Castleton have been growing blueberries since 2006 and now grow 80 acres. As far as they are aware they are the most northerly commercial blueberry grower in the world!