Meet the grower
Nigel Patrick and his team currently grow 800 hectares of spinach across sites in the UK and Spain, the equivalent of nearly 4,000 football pitches! Here he explains how he grows and harvests spinach:
How long does it take?
Spinach can take from 28 days to 85 days between sowing and harvesting. We sow several times a week to maintain a constant supply for our customers.
Spinach is directly drilled into fine seedbeds where the soil has been cultivated over and over again to obtain successful germination.
We grow over 15 varieties of spinach which are used at different times of the year to guarantee the right quality.
We cut spinach all year round, harvesting from May to October in the UK before the Spanish harvest begins. Spain provides cover for the colder winter months as spinach growth slows when temperatures drop below 5°C.
Spinach is harvested by a motorised cutting machine almost like a big lawn mower, which cuts spinach at a very precise height of 5mm above the ground. Once cut the spinach leaves travel up a conveyor belt before going into crates known as dolavs.
The crates are then delivered to our bespoke packing facility in Lincolnshire.
Here the spinach is washed to remove soil and grit before it is packed into bags ready for the shelves.