Farming apples in Kent


Hello, I'm James Simpson, managing director for Adrian Scripps Limited. I'm here today at our Wenderton farm in one of our Gala orchards.

Adrian Scripps Limited was founded over 50 years ago by Adrian Scripps and it's very much a family business. We've been supplying Tesco for over 30 years. We work very closely with Tesco to produce apples that their consumers require. We produce 10,500 tons of apples which we supply almost exclusively to Tesco.

The Gradirose variety, which we've put out on the market as Autumn Blush is one that only Tesco has for sale. It's a bit like a fine wine, something slightly different for the consumer.

Apples are very delicate so every apple that we grow for Tesco is picked by hand. There's a lot of science behind when they're ready to pick but still the best way is to take them off the tree and take a bite from that apple and then you know if the texture and the flavour are there. We make every effort to keep the apples as fresh as possible once we've picked them. From then, they're packed and sent to Tesco in chilled lorries to keep them cool and fresh.

This year's crop is potentially one of the best we've grown for many years. Here we are three weeks before harvest in this Gala orchard. We have fantastic colour that's been brought on by the glorious summer that we've had. This will also add to the flavour and the texture. These will be lovely and sweet and crisp when they're picked.

Of course you can eat apples all year round but they are seasonal and the best time to eat locally-produced British apples are from September through the winter months.

My favourite way to eat a Gala apple is with a little bit of blue cheese straight on the fruit. Perfect.

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