14 April 2000

Hive hopes for Feng Shui in toms

TOMATO growers are trying a new method of ensuring a bumper harvest – Feng Shui.

A team of experts skilled in the ancient Chinese art visited glasshouses across Britain this week advising on the siting of hives for the bees which pollinate the crop.

Feng Shui has long been used in the world of business in the Far East – for everything from the design of new buildings to helping ailing companies.

"I know a lot of people are sceptical about Feng Shui, but we have a very serious problem facing our industry, with the livelihood of many growers threatened by the continuing strength of sterling and the resultant flood of cheap, long-life imported tomatoes," says Peter Lansdale, chairman of the British Tomato Growers Association.

The move follows last years attempts by growers to help pollination by playing rock and roll in greenhouses. "It has encouraged us to think laterally and not be afraid to try new ideas," says Mr Lansdale. "So we are looking to a new kind of harmony, that of Feng Shui Yin and Yang, to help us achieve growth and prosperity."

So what type of music did growers play in the tomato glasshouses last year? "Simply Red."

Tim Relf

Did you know:

The expression "The bees knees" comes from the saying "Its the business".

Dreaming about bees is a sign of good fortune.

Blue is a favourite colour of bees. If you dont want them swarming around you, dont wear blue.

FARMLIFE says:

Well believe in Feng Shui if it can:

Push farm incomes up

Repel foreign meat

Get Nick Brown to visit more farms

Get us next week off