28 March 1997

Salad days and tips on the iceberg…

ON arrival at Blackdyke Farm, Hockwold, I was impressed by the appliqué sign depicting the FWC logo made by contact leader Pam Eyles. Its such a clear way of showing members that they have arrived at the correct location.

I was greeted at the door by Kay Markham, our hostess for a charity lunch of cheese and delicious salads supplied by the speaker, Simon Parton of Howard Long International of Methwold.

This company processes 10,000t of iceberg lettuce a year as well as preparing other salads for sale in Sainsburys and Waitrose stores throughout the country. The original business was started in an old aircraft hangar but when MacDonalds opened in Norwich in 1984, the company got the contract to supply shredded iceberg lettuce to all the United Kingdom outlets of the fast food chain and so started to expand.

During his talk, Simon answered many questions about the process from growing through cooling, washing and spinning dry to shredding in their new machine that can shred 10t lettuce per hour.

The talk gave us an appetite for the variety of salads awaiting us which followed a choice of homemade soup.

The meal was complete when member Ann Proctor cut her birthday cake, a work of art decorated with exquisite sugar flowers which compared admirably with the snowdrops and wonderful display of aconites out in the garden.

Jean Howells

Pam Eyles displays the sign which shows South West Norfolk FWC members they are in the right place.