Holmselect

Holmselect

HolmSelect was born out of two family-owned farming companies – M. F. Martin Ltd and Bedlam Farms. For three generations both companies have been at the forefront of farming in the Fens, and a few years ago the decision was taken to bring the produce of these Martin family businesses together under the name HolmSelect.

With the exception of blueberries, all vegetables are organic and certified by Organic Farmers and Growers. They hold RTA Fresh Produce Standards for all crops and were awarded the LEAF Marque which demonstrates a commitment to sustainable farming techniques in 2012.

HolmSelect are one of the largest growers of organic mixed squash and organic mini pumpkins in the UK. Other produce includes, magnificent organic globe artichokes. Varieties are carefully selected and grown on the farm for their head shape, succulent leaves and excellent flavour. They are an extraordinarily architectural crop and despite being commonly grown in warmer Mediterranean climates, they are able to flourish here in the UK. Organic globe artichokes will survive the winter if it is mild and will then start producing a crop in June. A fresh spring planting every year will then give a supply up to the end of September.

The HolmSelect farms are certainly one of and quite possibly the largest organic asparagus growers in the UK. Having never grown asparagus with the aid of herbicides for weed control, the farmers have learnt to produce this most difficult of organic crops using modern organic methods. Organic asparagus is planted from crowns, which are then left to grow for two years before they are harvested for the first time. Patience is rewarded by delicious succulent spears form April to June which have to be cut by hand on a daily basis then packed in their dedicated packhouse on the farm.

Organic rhubarb is another product grown by HolmSelect, it is not forced and is harvested by hand. On a trip to a rhubarb specialist in Holland, they discovered some exciting varieties which have excellent taste and red colouring, they are also later than the traditional English varieties which enables them to pick from Spring to early Autumn.

HolmSelect’s blueberries are conventionally grown on the acid black-peat soils of the Fens in their dedicated 14-acre field. During the blueberry harvest, which involves carefully picking blueberries by hand, each berry is chilled within 30 minutes of being picked. Blueberries are both delicious and nutritious, often being referred to as one of the ‘superfruits’ due to their favourable combination of nutrient richness and antioxidant strength.