Bill Harbour looks into unusual crops and a variety of colours

Bill Harbour is growing a number of unusual crops at his Gosmere Farm, Faversham, Kent, this year, clothing it in a variety of colours.

“We’ve got 12ha (30 acres) of marigolds, which are looking very pretty, and some borage, which is in the middle of flowering,” he said. The marigolds would not be harvested until the end of August, and the seed would then go to Holland to be pressed for oil, which would be used in paint, he added.

The more conventional crops were closer to being combined, having sprayed off 40ha (100 acres) of the Castille and Excalibur oilseed rape a fortnight ago (4 July). A further 45ha (111 acres) would be ready later on.

The first wheat, Xi19, sown in early September, would be ready in a couple of weeks, said Mr Harbour. “It’s turning quite quickly.” That would be followed by Solstice winter wheat and 54ha (133 acres) of Kahuna spring peas.

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Castille and Excalibur
Area: 85ha (210 acres)

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Xi19 and Solstice
Area: 190 ha (469 acres)

Crop: Spring peas
Variety: Kahuna
Area: 54ha (133 acres)



Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high UK treated yields and the top score for resistance to lodging with PGR. Combined with an unbeaten second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, this new variety from Syngenta Seeds will help UK growers rise to the challenge of producing more grain profitably.


See the New Farm Crops website and the picture gallery.


See more