On Tuesday 7 June, we held our first Cultiv8 tour of the year visiting Mee Blueberries based in Nassington, just outside of Peterborough.
Since acquiring Lyveden Farm in 1994, the family farm diversified its arable enterprise into Blueberries in 2014 with great success, seeing harvests increase from 17 tonnes in 2018 to over 150 tonnes expected in 2022.
The tour was led by father and daughter duo, Peter and Emily Mee, alongside mother, Zoe and their packhouse manager Charlotte. We started with a tour of the polytunnels, learning about the different varieties, growing conditions, and their reliance on seasonal workers. The sheer level of infrastructure was very impressive and hearing about the intense manual labour to maintain the polytunnels seemed to leave most people in awe.
We then moved through to the packhouse where Charlotte and Peter led the way in walking us through the different equipment they have to clean, sort, pack, weigh, scan and cool the produce. With their products set to be on the shelves of Waitrose and Marks & Spencer later this year, a huge amount of checks, calibration and audits are required to ensure the products are of the highest quality whilst maximising shelf life.
We then took a trip to their pop-up shop where Emily introduced their new product development. Since realising that feeding the waste blueberries to pigs wasn’t the best idea, Emily started exploring different opportunities. Mee Blueberries now have a jam, chutney, vodka and gin in their line-up and have some exciting products in the pipeline for upcoming weeks and months.
Visit their website by CLICKING HERE to learn more about the business and their products which you can buy direct online!
Events coming up in June
Cultiv8 – Our next Cultiv8 event takes place on 29 June at Rutland Vineyard for a wine and cheese tasting. We will be joined by Tim Beaver (Rutland Vineyard) to talk us through their first year and plans moving forward alongside Alison from Whyte Wytch Cheese for a talk and taster of her produce! You can book your FREE place by FOLLOWING THIS LINK.
Shuttleworth Farm Walk – Later this month (24 June), we continue our ‘Shuttleworth Series’ with a farm walk on the Shuttleworth estate alongside a range of speakers leading different elements of the walk and a hog roast to finish off the evening. Tickets cost £15 and we only have a limited number available, so act fast and BUY YOUR TICKET HERE.
We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!