It’s World Environment Day today, so we thought we’d share what we’re doing to help the environment here at Nurtured in Norfolk.
World Environment Day hopes to raise awareness of the importance of nature, and tries to encourage individuals not to take nature for granted. Each year, there is a different theme for the day, and this years theme is Ecosystem Restoration. Restoration can happen in many ways. One way it can happen is by planting or removing pressures, so that nature can act on its own (Decade on Restoration). At Nurtured in Norfolk, we’re doing our bit to remove unnecessary pressures on nature, to subsequently help the environment.
At Nurtured in Norfolk, we reduce our impact on the environment by using a borehole for our water, rather than using mains water. To water our micro cress alone, we use approximately 3 x 1,520 litre barrels of water each day. This equates to more than 4,500 litres of water! Extracting the water from a borehole takes less energy than if we were to use mains water. Not only does it use less energy, but it also doesn’t use any chemicals to treat the water. This reduction in the chemicals, and energy to pump the water, means a borehole is subsequently far better for the environment!
Another way we support the environment is by changing the plastic six packs we use for planting. Due to the nature of what we do here at Nurtured in Norfolk, it is often challenging to remove plastic entirely. Instead, we have sourced different plastics, which are easier to recycle. The grey six packs we use for planting crops such as Viola and Pansy edible flowers are much thiner than the black ones we have used in the past. This therefore makes them easier to recycle, which is better for the environment! You can shop fresh Pansy and Viola edible flowers here.
On the theme of plastic, we also reduce the use of plastic, by reusing the trays our micro cress grow in. At any one time, we will have more than 5,000 individual trays growing just micro herbs. We stock more than 50 different types of micro greens and are continually planting more. Although, rather than cutting the cress and binning the trays, we wash and reuse them instead.
As well as reusing the trays our crops are grown in, we also reuse our crops! This might sound silly, but it’s true! Occasionally, product going through our packing rooms is not up to the standards we expect. Rather than throwing this product in the bin, we recycle and reuse! Any rejected product is thrown onto our compost pile, which is then left and used on our fields. Composting the rejected product helps create more fertile soil for our bunched herbs to grow in the summer.
Speaking of growing, we also like to keep things as local as possible! To keep our food miles to a minimum, we grow lots of our crops here at our nursery in Norfolk. We work closely with farms overseas, although to limit the environmental impact of our product coming from overseas, we try to ensure all our produce is shipped on passenger jets, rather than cargo planes. This supports us in reducing the impact of transport on the environment.
World Environment Day reminds us that it is essential we value nature. One way we do that here at Nurtured in Norfolk, is via our integrated pest management control. Integrated pest management is a sustainable approach to managing greenhouse pests. This management emphasises the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible impact to agricultural ecosystems, and encourages natural pest controls (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs). This means, to remove the impact on the environment and our crops, we don’t use any chemicals on our products. Instead, we release ‘good’ bugs to catch the plant-eating pests in our greenhouses!