What's a typical day on our farm? Well, in fact there is no such thing as a typical day, our day is very much dictated to by the great British weather. But, whether its sunshine over head or raining like cats and dogs, its our job to ensure that we always have potatoes in the cold stores ready to pack into Fairfields fresh potatoes or cook into Fairfields Farm Crisps.
On our farm we have cold storage facilities which hold up to 4000 tonnes of potatoes. These potatoes need constant attention to ensure the quality in appearance and fry quality are maintained throughout the entire season.
Robert is responsible for checking the stores daily to maintain a constant temperature and airflow status.
Our packhouse is always working grading different varieties of potato for fresh potato use or washing and sizing the potatoes ready for handcooking.
During the Spring season planting of the potatoes commences during early to mid March. At Fairfields we grow around 12 different varities of potatoes for varied uses.
We stage the plantings so that the new crop arrives around mid June, when the old crop is coming to an end. This ensures us full continuity of potatoes, all year round.
By October the potatoes are all safely gathered in and all the cold stores are heaving with produce. The crop needs to be cooled down to a temperature which means they will stabilise in store for the remaining 9 months, until the new crop arrives.
After planting usually around May and June the potatoes will often require irrigating to encourage good quality and yields. This is carried out using Irrigation guns which apply water evenly across the growing crop.
Harvesting of the potatoes can start from mid June and carry on through until early October. At Fairfields we run two harvesting gangs to bring in the crop each season.
There's no rest though – all the machines need to be serviced and maintained so they are ready for use next season, which means a lot of work in the workshop over those chilly winter months. During the winter we also aim to fill all our reservoirs up with water ready for the coming irrigation season.