Here at Sherborne Turf, we're all about sustainability and shopping local. In celebration of the great British tomato, the British Tomato Growers' Association have organised the British Tomato Fortnight. Running between the 28th of May and the 11th of June 2023.

Around 500,000 tonnes of this much loved fruit are eaten every year in Britain - around a fifth of that being British grown.

So what's so good about locally grown tomatoes?

The British Growers' Association have a few reasons*:

  1. By buying locally grown tomatoes, or growing you own, you are dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.
  2. Locally grown produce (including that grown in your own garden) is far more delicious than produce flown in from far away.
  3. British tomatoes are kept on the vine for longer, meaning that not only are they full of flavour, but they are also full of health benefits. With fantastic nutrition, these local toms can help your immune system, your heart health and can even protect against cancer.
  4. British growers are continually improving their growing techniques in order to work with nature. This includes collecting and using rainwater, and encouraging bees and other pollinators into their crops.

There are several local suppliers near to us, including Sherborne Market Fruit and Veg and Red Barn Farm who sell a wide range of local produce.

Of course, it's always good fun to grow your own and reap many of the same benefits for the environment. You can give your tomatoes a good chance to thrive with a few tips:

  • Keep them warm. You can do this by growing them in a greenhouse, a polytunnel, a mini greenhouse, or in a warm spot by a window in your house.
  • Give them the right compost. Mushroom compost is perfect for tomatoes. Our mushroom compost is a locally sourced, recycled product made up of composted agricultural straw and animal manures that can create the ideal growing environment. Find out how you can buy from us single-use plastic free.
  • Keep them well watered. If you haven't done so already, install water butts to collect rainwater to use for watering your garden and plants and reduce your need for tap water. Or reuse grey water from the house - just as long as it doesn't contain harsh chemicals such as laundry detergent or bleach.
  • Plant other flowers near by to encourage pollinators to pollinate your tomatoes and improve your crop.

Whether you decide to grow your own, or buy local, you can find some fantastic recipes to try through the British Tomatoes Growers Association. Enjoy!