J and S Cotton (Julian and Sarah) are relative newcomers to the top fruit sector and are continuing to grow fuelled by a passion for producing top quality fruit at least cost. The farm is 60ha comprising 23.5ha of Dessert apples, including the most recent plantation of 3.5ha Junami, grown on high trellis work, 2.5ha of Sweet Cherries grown under polytunnels and 30ha of Cider apples contracted to Bulmer’s and Magners. We are also planning to plant 3.5ha of Junami apples in 2016.
The farm was predominantly growing hops until 2002 when the decision was made to grub all 40ha rather than pulling down the wirework. Since then a programme of planting has taken place and now all land is in use growing the best fruit we can.
All dessert fruit is picked without the need for bins to touch the orchard floor using unique bin carriers which are also used to pick the fruit at 3.5m. These carrier’s self-collect bins at the yard and when full deposit them carefully back again before reloading. This system allows for greater efficiency since the picker is only a few feet from the bins at any time.
We have been members of Wye Fruit at Ledbury for 5 years. Wye fruit professionally store, pack and market the fruit grown here and we have a strong, mutually beneficial relationship.
We are proud of our green credentials. We use the electricity generated from a 70Kwp array of solar panels and heat the farmhouse, workshops and offices with a biomass boiler using woodchip from sustainable woodland.