Withers Farm is located amongst the beautiful greenery of Ledbury in Herefordshire. This family fruit farm was established in 1958 by Alan Leeds and has since grown to over 700 acres of the highest-quality fruit.
The Leeds family farm started with strawberries and apples and when the farm passed to his son, George, blueberries and later, kiwi berries were planted.
George’s sons Richard and Nicholas mark the third generation of Leeds fruit growing at one on the largest farms in the UK. As someone who is passionate about family business, it was such a pleasure to visit and see how the whole family are so involved in each stage of production.
Celebrating British berries at Marks and Spencer
Withers Farm is passionate about producing the highest quality strawberries, blueberries and kiwiberries, supplying over 400 tonnes of fruit each year to Marks and Spencer. I was invited along to the farm to learn more about the journey of British berries from field to your home.
Strawberries at Withers Farm
I was really excited to see the Strawberries, there is nothing more quintessentially British than the strawberry, is there? Withers Farm propagate their own strawberry plants each year and the berries are then grown using the tabletop method, which makes for easier picking and better disease and pest control.
The fruit is picked every few days and I was very lucky to taste the fruit as I toured the tabletops. The strawberries were so fresh and sweet, the quintessential British strawberry.
The rows and rows of blueberries were a thing of such beauty, the little deeply coloured berries were plentiful, like little blue baubles. Not many know that the UK produces blueberries and Withers Farm supplies Marks and Spencer with over 60 tonnes of two varieties each year.
Kiwi Berries are not a fruit I’d come across before and was so looking forward to that first taste, which I experienced in one of the kiwiberry fields. The farm grows just under 20 acres of plants. These glossy green berries resemble a kiwifruit inside, but you can eat them whole without peeling, perfect for adding to fruit salads, especially as they are so nutrient rich. We all need some more delicious super fruits in our diets.
I had a wonderful day exploring the farm and seeing first hand the passion and care that goes into the relationship between British farmers and Marks and Spencer. I feel really proud to be able to share the wonderful work that goes on to bring British berries from farm to table.
Don’t forget to come back to the blog tomorrow when I’ll be sharing all the delicious details of my bank holiday feasting featuring a selection of British Berries at Marks and Spencer, including gorgeous strawberries from Withers Farm.
Disclaimer: This post is produced as part of a paid partnership with Marks and Spencer. My opinions are honest and my own.