For the first time, the entire crop of scented pinks currently being picked and posted out by Scilly Flowers has been grown in coconut fibre – a sustainable alternative to the peat bags previously used.
The company, which is based at Churchtown Farm on the tiny island of St Martin’s, has also invested in a temporary polytunnel system to provide additional shelter for the fragrant flowers that grow throughout the summer.
“The transition to sustainable coir has been a gradual one as we didn’t want to jeopardise quality,” said Zoe Julian who runs the business with her husband Ben. “The new tunnels have also proved really useful as they can just be rolled-up, removed and replaced whenever required to suit both the weather and the flowers. It’s the best of both worlds and the pinks have really benefited.”
Coir fibre is a natural fibre that is taken from the husk of coconuts. It’s a lot lighter and so less carbon hungry to transport and the tubs can be re-used year on year. Once the crop is over, the fibre is ploughed back into the soil and used for growing scented narcissi.
With pinks picking well underway, Churchtown Farm is a hive of activity.
“We may live on a small island with stunning views but there’s always a lot to do in the fields, packing shed and office,” said Zoe. “We’ve got eighteen staff here at the moment. As working environments go, I think they’d all agree Scilly is pretty hard to beat!”
Pinks from Scilly Flowers will be available until the autumn. For further information, visit www.scillyflowers.co.uk
Ends 8 June 2015
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