Vegetables: 'The Goodness of the Earth' Harvest


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Vegetables: 'The Goodness of the Earth'

Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester are in Lincolnshire for the main potato harvest and to see how broccoli is picked and packed in minutes.


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All over the country, the race is on to bring in our food. It's harvest

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time. Gathering in the bounty of the land is the most crucial event in

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the countryside calendar. And now, as this year's harvest reaches its

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climax, it's time to see exactly what's happening with all our crops.

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Seeds of life to sustain us. Fresh vegetables pulled from the earth.

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Fruit that's our sweet treat. All conjured up from Mother Nature.

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We'll be discovering the remarkable craft and magic of farming, and

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finding out just where our food comes from. No matter how clever

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farming becomes, our crops are still at the mercy of the weather. Harvest

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2012 was a disaster. After record summer rainfall, crops failed and

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prices spiralled. Can 2013 put our farmers back on track to deliver the

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food we all rely on? As the harvest comes in, we will reveal the

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results. This time we'll be uncovering the treasure of our land

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- vegetable goodness. Which of our vegetables have been the winners,

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and which the losers? As the crops come in, we'll reveal the results.

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Welcome to Harvest 2013! It's great to be in Lincolnshire.

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The vegetable growing capital of Britain. At the busiest usiest time

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of year - har vest. All around us vegetables of every size, shape and

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colour are being gathered in from the rich earth. I'm Gregg Wallace

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and I've been working in the vegetable business for over 20 years

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and I still get a buzz at harvest time. And I'm Philippa Forrester. As

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a keen amateur grower, I will be exploring the farmers' secrets

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behind the fantastic crops. Over half the vegetables we eat are grown

:02:23.:02:27.

in the UK. I will be finding out the story behind this incredible Edible

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business, worth over £1 billion a year. And now we are here at a most

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critical time. We are in the thick of the potato harvest. We'll reveal

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how our vegetable crops have done in 2013. We've got some surprises in

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store, even about the most ordinary vegetables, the carrots, the onions,

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and let's not forget our Greens like broccoli. We'll find out how they

:02:53.:02:59.

had a roller coaster year in 2013. And Stefan Gates will be here with

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insights into nature which farmers must master if they are to produce

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crops like these. We'll get a taste of the weird and wonderful new crops

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heading heading for for our plates. But first our big story and my

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favourite vegetable ever, the not so humble potato. Do you know, we eat a

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favourite vegetable ever, the not so staggering 24 billion of them every

:03:23.:03:25.

year. Here on this farm we followed the

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year. story of their spuds. Now we'll

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discover just what it takes to harvest them. From planting in

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spring to flouring in summer, to harvest them. From planting in

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now, the moment From planting in spring to flouring in summer, to

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now, the moment of truth -- to flowering in summer, to now, the

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moment of truth, the first day of harvest. It is time to meet the

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farmer at the centre of this empire of home-grown goodness. Son of this

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fertile soil, Andrew Burgess. Andrew and his two brothers are carrying on

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a tradition that goes back four generations. We absolutely love

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farming and growing stuff. It is a passion in the family. In 1898 my

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great grandfather bought a field of potatoes, which he sold in London.

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That's how the family business started. Since then my greater

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That's how the family business my father and now me and my brothers

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have continued to farm and grow a range of vegetables. Andrew's

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heritage is built on the potato. But the family business has mushroomed

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into a vegetable empire. We are now growing a complete range of UK omed

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into a vegetable empire. We are now growing a complete range of UK field

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vegetable - broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, leaks -- leeks,

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carrots. Andrew works with growers across lots of different farms. Our

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growing areas start in Suffolk. We work through the season and we

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always finish in Scotland for the late-season crop. We are growing

:04:59.:05:04.

pretty much over the east side of England. Andrew also brings new

:05:04.:05:08.

kinds of vegetables to the UK. And that takes him further afield, like

:05:08.:05:15.

Spain. My brothers take the Mickey out of me, because they think it is

:05:15.:05:19.

a holiday. But it is not really. I love to go on voyages of discovery.

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What I'm looking for is anything new I can learn to bring home to the UK

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to make things better at home. How many other jobs do you get where you

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can sit in an office like this? I love being a farmer. It has its bad

:05:34.:05:40.

days but 99% of the time it is brilliant fun, working outside with

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nature. When I go into a field and it is perfect and ready to go, the

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it is magical. You cannot beat the feeling of standing in a field of

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vegetable ready to go. That's why we get up in the morning. Andrew was

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certainly up early this morning. It is the very first day of his crucial

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potato harvest. By the end of today, we'll have an idea how the crop for

:06:07.:06:15.

2013 is likely to do. So this must be a super-busy time for you, a

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passionate potato man, so thank you for having us here at this time.

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Pleasure. We could see the harvester at work. How many can that harvest?

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About 40 tonnes an hour. How many potatoes is 40 tonnes? That's 40

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boxes the size of your car. An hour? An hour. That's extraordinary. What

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I'm nntsing. Have a feel of that, isn't that lovely. That's amazing

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soil. Lincolnshire soil is famed for its potato-growing potential. This

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is fantastic dirt. Everybody its potato-growing potential. This

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gardener in the world would die for this stuff. This is a real soft

:06:51.:06:57.

silty soil. We are below sea level, and this is reclaimed land. This

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soil is so smooth, feel it through your fingers. It is soft and light.

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That gives us the perfect-shaped potato and a really smooth skin. It

:07:07.:07:11.

has such a lot of small particles in it, the it holds the the moss ture,

:07:11.:07:17.

so it grows without too much rainfall. And this is reclaimed from

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the sea, is it? The Romans started reclaiming the land. The last bit

:07:22.:07:26.

near the coast was reclaimed in 1976. The Romans must have loved

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chips. They've stopped reclaiming the land. They are flooding some of

:07:31.:07:36.

it for wildlife. What do you grow? Corral, and in this field we've got

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Belle de Fontenay. I love that. La Ratte as well? You and I have become

:07:41.:07:46.

good friends. Anything else? Around the rest of the farm, Maris Piper,

:07:46.:07:52.

King Edward, Charlotte. I'm a big fan of the salad potato. You've got

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some splendid ones here but you can't do anything without the

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weather. The weather is a critical. It was a nightmare last year. This

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spring was cold and late. We are running late now. We are stood in

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this field, our first field to nd late. We are running late now. We

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are stood in this field, our first field to live. This -- our first

:08:14.:08:17.

field to lift.. Our crop is green over there. Mother Nature can be a

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field to lift.. Our crop is green good friend to the farmer but it can

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also be an enemy. Let's remind ourselves just how atrocious the wet

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weather was in 2012. The summer of 2012 was the wettest for 100 years.

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And the darkest for a quarter of a century. £600 million worth of crops

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And the darkest for a quarter of a were lost. The worst harvest for

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decades... We've been warned to expect further increase in the price

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of food. Vegetable prices rose by up to a half as farmaries struggled to

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get poor quality crops from sodden ground. Our farmer, Andrew, had

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never seen his potato field so wet. Wet. By mid November 2012, Andrew

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was at his wit's end with the weather. We are here in Home Fen,

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just below sea level, and we are coming into a field of King Edwards

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on this lovely black soil. It started raining in April and it

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hasn't really stopped since. It has started raining in April and it

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affected the growth of the crop. It is a very small crop. There's bits

:09:23.:09:26.

of this field we are not going to harvest. Is you can see how small

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these potatoes are, because they haven't had enough sunlight. The

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soil is such an important factor for us. Having a healthy soil with good

:09:35.:09:40.

nutritional balance, and it all just goes down the drain when you get

:09:40.:09:44.

this, and we have to start again. We have to start rebuilding the soil

:09:44.:09:48.

structure from scratch. My father's 74. It is the wettest year he can

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remember in farming. I just, it is one year I would love to forget but

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I'm sure we never will. Crikey, mate, how bad was that? Last year

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was awful. It was demoralising. It never stopped raining. Everything

:10:04.:10:08.

was covered in mud. Very unpleasant to work in, very bad for the morale

:10:08.:10:11.

of the blokes. It was like the to work in, very bad for the morale

:10:11.:10:15.

battle of the Somme every day. We had a crop that was 30% down in

:10:15.:10:18.

yield. We really need a good year this year to make up for last year.

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Can I just say, I'm no expert, but this doesn't look like the

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healthiest of fields. It looks half dead. I thought you knew all about

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farming. When the crop is ready, we burn the tops off and that enables

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the skin to set and get tough, so that when we handle it we can store

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it. As opposed to your new potato, where you have your fluffy skin. I

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never knew that is what made it. That bit over there is just about

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ready to burn off. The tops are dying back naturally but we'll

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finish them off. Thank you, I've learnt something there. Generations

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of farmers have learnt to look after the potato. But what made us fall in

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love with this little tuber? Farmers know the potato as a surprisingly

:11:09.:11:14.

complex character. Scarred is skin and black eyes suggest a bit of a

:11:14.:11:20.

bruiser. But the potato is a surprisingly fragile soul. It needs

:11:20.:11:26.

careful tending. People and potatoes have looked after each other since

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the Inca first cultivated the crop for food some 6,000 years ago. Grown

:11:31.:11:36.

on the terraces of the Palace at Machu Picchu and across Peru, spuds

:11:36.:11:41.

thrived in the wet, cool mountain climate. So they felt at home when

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they arrived in Britain 400 years ago. Now, if it is not only our

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favourite vegetable, it is by far the most grown vegetable crop on

:11:52.:11:59.

earth. Our ancestors loved what was then an exotic new wonder, because

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eat within the skin the spud contains nearly all the minerals and

:12:02.:12:07.

vitamins we need for life. But these days the likes of pasta and rice

:12:07.:12:15.

compete with the old staple crops. You may find this hard to believe,

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but vegetable consumption in the UK is actually falling. To keep his

:12:20.:12:26.

fields busy our Farmer Andrew can't just rely on growing the old

:12:26.:12:27.

favourites. He needs to entice us just rely on growing the old

:12:27.:12:32.

into eating more vegetable by developing exciting new varieties.

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This very special trial patch is his secret weapon. Here Andrew's planted

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exotic new vegetable he has discovered on his world travels. And

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who knows? Maybe in this field in Lincolnshire is hidden the next top

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vegetable, something none of us has ever seen before. What about that,

:12:54.:12:58.

Andrew? What have you got to look at? Let's hope so.Look at that, an

:12:58.:13:04.

orange cauliflower. Innovation? Yep. I know you like to mess around with

:13:04.:13:08.

vegetable. I know you do, but how important is innovation to your

:13:08.:13:17.

business or any vegetable business? It's extremely important, especially

:13:17.:13:20.

to our business. We have to keep reinventing ourselves, keep creating

:13:20.:13:23.

premium lines. Why? Tell me. Is it because you get more money for

:13:23.:13:26.

something new? Yeah, well, there's the old saying that today's premium

:13:26.:13:29.

is tomorrow's standard, and you try and find me an example of that that

:13:29.:13:33.

isn't true. Absolutely, because I've heard that you were trendy once. Now

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look at you! Yeah, same with you! I heard that about you! Big crate,

:13:37.:13:40.

loads of lovely veg. I've got a game for you here, right? I'm a

:13:40.:13:43.

greengrocer. You're the farmer. Try to convince me to buy some of these

:13:44.:13:48.

things. Some of the things we do are just for colour, so the orange

:13:48.:13:50.

cauliflower, the purple cauliflower - they're just for colour. Some of

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the things I've got here I've selected out for fla r. I went to

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Japan last year and I brought back one or two really special things.

:13:58.:14:02.

Let's have a look at this one. That looks to me very much like a

:14:02.:14:06.

standard Chinese leaf. Yeah, but it ain't. This is a cross between a

:14:06.:14:10.

cabbage and a lettuce. You can shave it and use it in a salad, like an

:14:10.:14:14.

iceberg, You have a taste of that. Will it braise like a - like a

:14:14.:14:19.

cabbage? Yeah, you can stir-fry, or braise it. Now, you thought it was a

:14:19.:14:24.

Chinese leaf cabbage. Chinese leaf has a hairy petiole, leaf stem. And

:14:24.:14:32.

that is as smooth as you like. Yeah. That is juicy. And you can eat it

:14:32.:14:38.

raw. Chinese leaf you can't eat raw. Try that. So that can be a lettuce

:14:38.:14:42.

or a cabbage? Mmmm. So for the summer periods when vegetable

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consumption's down, and we're quiet as a business, this has a really

:14:45.:14:48.

good potential for us to fill our summer season. Do you know what? I

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thought I'd seen it all, I really did. That is a beautiful thing. It's

:14:52.:14:56.

got a slight like hint of allium, like slight onion at the end. Yep, a

:14:56.:15:00.

little bit of peppery aftertaste. Mate, that is good. What else you

:15:00.:15:04.

got? What else you got? This one. That's a Kohlrabi. It ain't just any

:15:04.:15:07.

old Kohlrabi, this is a melon Kohlrabi. You're enjoying this,

:15:07.:15:10.

mate. Yep. You have a taste of this Oh my word, That is a little bit

:15:10.:15:14.

like an apple, maybe a little bit like a melon, and a gain just really

:15:14.:15:27.

fresh. I can't believe you can take a Kohlrabli like that and eat it

:15:27.:15:31.

raw. Yep, it's amazingThat is amazing Yep, looks like a kohlrabi,

:15:31.:15:34.

but I mean all the guys in the factory thought it was a melon when

:15:34.:15:38.

we blind tasted it. Is that right? Hmmm. Mate, are these in the shops

:15:38.:15:42.

yet? No, this is all brand new stuff, and we haven't got enough of

:15:42.:15:46.

it to actually start selling yet. So what we do through the trials

:15:46.:15:49.

process, we have the discovery phase, which is what we're looking

:15:49.:15:52.

at now. Then we start to scale things up, so maybe four or five

:15:52.:15:56.

acres. Give it a try through the shops. If it sells well, we scale it

:15:56.:16:00.

up until we've got a full scale product on our hands. You know what

:16:00.:16:04.

I do? You know I work with food. Yep, I heard a rumour. That is

:16:04.:16:09.

amazing! That was good. Yeah, it's incredible. I mean, that was good.

:16:09.:16:24.

That is incredible. Well done, mate. , I am really, really impressed.

:16:24.:16:27.

This sweet shop of exotic veg isn't just exciting, it's puzzling. How do

:16:27.:16:31.

you come up with whole new crop variety? For such big questions,

:16:31.:16:34.

we've enlisted food fanatic Stefan Gates.

:16:34.:16:36.

There are 400,000 different plant species in nature. Our food comes

:16:36.:16:52.

from just 12. From these humans have created a dazzling array of

:16:52.:16:57.

different crop varieties, each with a natural appearance and taste.

:16:57.:17:05.

Everything about them is constantly being refined by evolution.

:17:05.:17:12.

Sometimes a mutation happens by chance, which means a plant is more

:17:12.:17:16.

likely to survive, so if you've got a gene that makes you slightly

:17:16.:17:19.

taller than your neighbours, you'll get more sunlight and so you're more

:17:19.:17:24.

likely to thrive. Natural selection is a lengthy process, but through

:17:24.:17:27.

artificial selection farmers can speed things up by selecting the

:17:27.:17:34.

characteristics we like best. Mangetout peas are usually green.

:17:34.:17:43.

The plant's genes act like an internal instruction manual telling

:17:43.:17:47.

it to produce a green pod. But what if there is a chance mutant, a

:17:47.:17:50.

random plant, with purple pods? And it's the purple colour that I want

:17:50.:17:57.

to keep. By cross-pollinating the flowers of the purple pea plants

:17:57.:18:01.

with those of other plants, it's possible to help it reproduce. So we

:18:01.:18:05.

can artificially spread the genes of the purple pods around. And this

:18:05.:18:08.

increases the chances of purple offspring. It's a painstakingly slow

:18:08.:18:16.

process because you have to do this over and over again over generations

:18:16.:18:20.

of peas. But eventually most of my crop should be purple.

:18:20.:18:30.

In this trial field our farmer Andrew has planted his pick of the

:18:30.:18:34.

best new varieties bred all over the world. To pay for these new veg

:18:34.:18:44.

developments he is desperate that 2013 is good year for one of his

:18:44.:18:53.

biggest sellers, the Potato. ??FORCEDYELOW Only now with the

:18:53.:18:56.

potato harvest beginning, will Andrew discover how many precious

:18:56.:18:59.

spuds have survived the chilly spring and hot dry summer. And

:18:59.:19:03.

Andrew's also worried about his broccoli. Along with carrots, onions

:19:03.:19:10.

and many others, all crops with their own particular needs that must

:19:10.:19:16.

be met through the year. Seeing the world from their crop's point of

:19:16.:19:20.

view is absolutely vital for a farmer's success. They all have

:19:20.:19:22.

different requirements, the crops. For example, carrots like a light,

:19:22.:19:26.

sandy type of soil if they're going to do well. Broccoli likes an alkali

:19:26.:19:29.

soil. And potatoes, well, they need lots of sunshine and lots of rain if

:19:29.:19:37.

they're going to thrive. Most of these veg are planted out as tiny,

:19:37.:19:41.

tiny seeds, but not the potato. The potato comes from another potato, a

:19:41.:19:49.

seed potato. And when I'm gardening, it always amazes me how you can

:19:49.:19:53.

plant these out and then at harvest time they've multiplied into so, so

:19:53.:19:58.

many more. And of course, it's harvest time now, a critical time

:19:59.:20:02.

for our farmer Andrew as he finds out just how many potatoes his seed

:20:02.:20:05.

potatoes have multiplied into. It was back in April that we joined him

:20:05.:20:10.

as he was planting out his seed potatoes, and keeping his fingers

:20:10.:20:13.

firmly crossed. So we're planting these lovely

:20:13.:20:21.

Mozart potatoes. This is a time of optimism when we're planting the new

:20:21.:20:24.

crops, and if you can't be optimistic at this time of year as a

:20:24.:20:29.

farmer, you may as well pack up. You can just see the little shoot on the

:20:29.:20:32.

end where it's just starting to grow. From this one potato we'll

:20:33.:20:36.

probably get another 20 potatoes To prevent disease building up in his

:20:36.:20:39.

plants, Andrew doesn't use any of last year's crop as seed potatoes.

:20:39.:20:44.

Each spring he plants fresh seed potatoes bought from specialist

:20:44.:20:49.

breeders. We've got a big machine. It's got a tank on the back. We're

:20:49.:20:56.

going to put these in the ground, six inches deep, and a foot apart,

:20:56.:20:59.

and we should have about 20 tonnes an acre come September. The cup

:21:00.:21:04.

comes through, picks up the potato, makes a little hole, plants it, and

:21:04.:21:06.

buries it again. It's a beautiful day, only three

:21:06.:21:31.

weeks ago when there was snow on the ground. The soil at eight or nine

:21:31.:21:35.

inches deep is still very cold, and that's going to get us off to a bit

:21:35.:21:39.

of a slow start. I've got these potatoes on the ridges. We try and

:21:39.:21:54.

grow them as close as possible from north to south cos the sun rises in

:21:54.:21:58.

the east and this lovely broad edge we've got to the ridge really

:21:58.:22:01.

absorbs the sun. Stick your finger in there now. I can even feel the

:22:01.:22:04.

warmth that's gathered here today compared with the cold soil we've

:22:05.:22:06.

cultivated over there. compared with the cold soil we've

:22:06.:22:09.

cultivated the soil. We've got all the clods out, and we've used all

:22:09.:22:13.

the best bits to actually grow the potato in, which is going to give us

:22:13.:22:17.

a lovely smooth skin and a nice shape on the potato. And when we

:22:17.:22:20.

come to harvest in September, it'll be nice and easy to separate the

:22:20.:22:24.

potatoes from the soil. We're going to invest over £100,000 growing the

:22:24.:22:27.

crop in this field. Plus, there's a million quid's worth of kit tied up

:22:27.:22:31.

in harvesting and planting equipment and irrigation. And if everything

:22:31.:22:34.

goes well, and we grow a good crop, we make about 0.2p per potato.

:22:34.:22:37.

goes well, and we grow a good crop, Potatoes only get one shot a year.

:22:37.:22:40.

It's crucial to get it right. Back then in April, Andrew didn't know a

:22:40.:22:43.

heatwave would hit in July, just when his potatoes wanted water. Now

:22:43.:22:46.

Andrew is harvesting those spuds, soon we'll discover how that heat

:22:46.:22:49.

affected the crop. Andrew's profit margin is just point 2p per potato.

:22:49.:23:02.

So he's got to fill massive crate after massive crate - this many and

:23:02.:23:05.

at least the same again just from this one farm. Righto, Ron.Time to

:23:05.:23:09.

meet his harvest machine. Thanks for stopping it, cos this is a massive

:23:09.:23:13.

big beast, and I want to have a look at this in a minute, but I've got to

:23:13.:23:18.

ask you, .2p profit on a potato - you've got to do five to make a

:23:18.:23:22.

penny. Yep, and that's after you've grown a good crop. Only if you get a

:23:22.:23:26.

good crop, by my calculations if you want to make £2,000 profit, you've

:23:26.:23:29.

got to sell, what, a million potatoes? I'm not very good at

:23:29.:23:33.

maths, but sounds about right. :No. You're looking with the tractor at

:23:33.:23:38.

about £200,000 worth of investment with this machine. I don't see the

:23:38.:23:42.

economics. I just don't get it. I know. I sometimes wonder. Every

:23:42.:23:47.

potato is important, and if that's so, this doesn't look like the most

:23:47.:23:50.

gentlest of things to take care of them, if I'm honest. No, it's a very

:23:50.:23:55.

simple but clever design. Basically, we've got the big digging spade on

:23:55.:24:00.

the front. That lifts the whole bed of soil and potatoes onto the web.

:24:00.:24:06.

It goes under them? The web is like a giant sieve. Got you.It sieves

:24:06.:24:08.

the potatoes through the soil. The a giant sieve. Got you.It sieves

:24:08.:24:11.

potatoes carry on through the machine, then go up to the elevator

:24:12.:24:15.

into the yard. We're just at the start of our potato harvest now. We

:24:15.:24:21.

have seven or eight busy weeks coming up now, probably the busiest

:24:21.:24:24.

of the year. What I am thinking is we don't just eat fruit and veg in

:24:24.:24:30.

the spring and summer. We want it 365 days a year. How clever do our

:24:30.:24:36.

farmers have to be to get produce in the cold months even if the ground

:24:36.:24:40.

is frozen? Mid-January doesn't look like harvest season, but it is.

:24:40.:24:54.

It seems the animals have winter's playground all to themselves.

:24:54.:25:05.

Apart from one solitary figure, farmer Ian Hall.

:25:05.:25:21.

I'll have a look here. Carrots, fresh from the ground in the middle

:25:21.:25:29.

of winter - it's no surprise to Ian. He planted these carrots last

:25:29.:25:34.

spring, and all summer they've grown big and strong.

:25:34.:25:41.

By October, they were ready. But not for harvest. It was time to put them

:25:41.:25:48.

to bed. Every further furtherers like Ian store more than 10,000

:25:48.:25:52.

acres of carrots in fields right across the UK. We're covering the

:25:52.:25:58.

crop with a sheet of black plastic. What that does is, that keeps the

:25:58.:26:03.

light out so these tops and these carrots don't start to regrow, so we

:26:03.:26:07.

protect the bed with that, and then we put a layer of straw on it which

:26:07.:26:12.

protects the carrots from the layer of cold, keeps them lovely and warm,

:26:12.:26:17.

a bit like your quilt at home. Throughout the long winter months,

:26:17.:26:22.

the earth acts as Mother Nature's larder, keeping Ian's carrots fresh

:26:22.:26:32.

and ready for harvest at any time. On this freezing January day, Ian's

:26:32.:26:37.

got to fill 27 tractor and trailer loads. So it's time to wake this

:26:37.:26:49.

field of carrots up. Time to bring in the monster carrot harvester.

:26:49.:26:59.

Interestingly, the worse the weather, the more challenging

:26:59.:27:02.

environment we have to work in, the more the orders go up. Carrot sales

:27:02.:27:06.

will always be higher when it's cold. People go back to stews and

:27:06.:27:13.

traditional Sunday roast. Around a third of our carrots are put to

:27:13.:27:17.

sleep under straw for harvest in winter. Unlike most other veg,

:27:17.:27:22.

they're grown in light, sandy soil, which breaks apart when chilly. It

:27:22.:27:28.

wouldn't work for potatoes grown in heavy soil. They have to be

:27:28.:27:33.

harvested before winter and kept in expensive cold storage. For these

:27:33.:27:37.

carrots, Mother Nature does the chilling. While we're all snowed in

:27:37.:27:42.

at home, the British harvest must continue. The demand for carrots

:27:42.:27:47.

at home, the British harvest must never stops.

:27:47.:27:55.

business or any vegetable business? Well, carrots are big business -

:27:55.:27:59.

they're worth over £300 million each year. Do you know, in a really good

:27:59.:28:03.

harvest we dig up about 100 carrots for every single person in this

:28:03.:28:06.

country. So by now you should have eaten 70 or 80 of them. Have you?

:28:06.:28:10.

Well, that's carrots. Right now we're in the middle of a broccoli

:28:10.:28:14.

field, another one of Andrew's big passions, and we are smack bang in

:28:14.:28:17.

the middle of the harvest. And I've got to ask you, there's no ignoring

:28:17.:28:21.

it, what is that enormous tent on wheels? Well, that's my favourite

:28:21.:28:24.

toy that I went to California and got this idea and what that does is

:28:24.:28:28.

it's a factory in the field. What, there's a gang of guys working

:28:28.:28:30.

it's a factory in the field. What, inside that thing as well? Wrapping

:28:30.:28:35.

and labeling. Well, that is state of the art isn't it? And right at the

:28:35.:28:39.

cutting edge of that is Philippa right now. Now this is actually

:28:39.:28:42.

quite a tricky one to harvest, what I have to do is assess how heavy

:28:42.:28:46.

that broccoli is then cut the same length as width of that broccoli in

:28:46.:28:50.

one swift movement, remove the leaves and put it in the right

:28:50.:28:52.

container for the right supermarket, leaves and put it in the right

:28:52.:28:54.

because different containers, colours want different weights in

:28:54.:28:57.

them so there's a lot to think about. And also you have to move

:28:57.:29:08.

fairly swiftly otherwise you're going to get run over at the same

:29:08.:29:12.

time! It's worth it though, broccoli is a super food. Let's find out more

:29:12.:29:16.

about it. Rich in vitamins D and C. Bursting with antioxidants. Broccoli

:29:16.:29:21.

is a cousin of the cabbage and the cauliflower. You can trace its

:29:21.:29:25.

family tree back thousands of years to Italy. Calabrese, as they say,

:29:25.:29:33.

must be planted in warm soil. What we eat is actually an immature

:29:33.:29:37.

flower head. Leave it a moment too long and it goes over into bloom.

:29:37.:29:42.

It's a tricky blighter, broccoli. Timing is all important. At the end

:29:42.:29:49.

of March, Andrew's broccoli timings were in crisis due to the weather.

:29:49.:29:52.

It was exceptionally cold and were in crisis due to the weather.

:29:52.:29:54.

Andrew's fields weren't drying out enough to use the broccoli planting

:29:54.:30:02.

machine. So a staggering 20 million young broccoli and cauliflower

:30:02.:30:04.

plants were stuck in the greenhouses, because they couldn't

:30:04.:30:11.

be put in the ground. When the fields were ready, they all had to

:30:11.:30:13.

go in at once. But getting the broccoli plants in

:30:13.:30:39.

was only the beginning. The long, cold spring dragged on, and on.

:30:39.:30:50.

Andrew, it is a stunning crop now. How did you fair through that really

:30:50.:30:54.

difficult spring then? Well, it was very cold, the plants were late, the

:30:54.:30:58.

four planters that we put in in April, it was so cold they didn't

:30:58.:31:02.

grow at all and then when it did warm up, they all grew together and

:31:02.:31:06.

we had a glut of broccoli at the end of June. Which is great isn't it?

:31:06.:31:11.

No, because we overloaded the market place. We should be planting every

:31:11.:31:19.

day and we should be harvesting every day, so if we get four lots

:31:19.:31:23.

that come together, we have too much. The hardest thing about

:31:23.:31:26.

broccoli is supply and demand. When the sun comes out and it gets warm,

:31:26.:31:30.

it grows like crazy and nobody wants to eat vegetables. So what happened?

:31:30.:31:34.

We sold some off into freezing, some off to export, and some of it we had

:31:34.:31:38.

to plough in. You didn't?Yep, we did. So you were harvesting four

:31:38.:31:42.

lots all at once as well? Yep.That must have been difficult?

:31:42.:31:44.

lots all at once as well? Yep.That 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

:31:44.:31:48.

Through the night? You cant do that through the night! It's got

:31:48.:31:50.

fantastic floodlights on it and we double-shifted it. Sharp knives,

:31:50.:32:10.

darkness? You have got a cracking crop now. And Gregg is packing it.

:32:10.:32:18.

I'm on an amazing moving factory and I'm here with Boxer, who is in

:32:18.:32:24.

charge of this rig, right? Yes.How long have you had this moving

:32:24.:32:30.

warehouse? Three years now.Let me understand what's happening had,

:32:30.:32:33.

we've got a team of cutters at the front? Yes.And then it is coming

:32:33.:32:39.

in, taken off these, and every now and then one is weighed to check,

:32:39.:32:44.

and then you have to get them Cellophane lap wrapped? We put a

:32:44.:32:49.

label on it and she is like the last person who is checking. For all the

:32:49.:32:54.

picking and weighing we wrap it in Cellophane, put a sticker in it. How

:32:54.:32:58.

long does it take for each spear of the broccoli to go through the

:32:58.:33:02.

cutters, selection, weighing and machinery and packing? About one

:33:02.:33:07.

minute. And you have to get that broccoli just before it flowers.

:33:07.:33:11.

However, with Andrew's potato crop, flowering is vitally important.

:33:11.:33:17.

It was in July that Farmer Andrew was checking his spud crop at the

:33:17.:33:22.

crucial flowering time. We are here in this beautiful field of Maris

:33:22.:33:26.

Piper pool. It is coming into flower. They are very pretty. Are

:33:26.:33:32.

they are an indicator as to what's going on under the ground. We start

:33:32.:33:39.

off with the mother tuber. This is the seed potato we plant in the

:33:39.:33:43.

spring and the stems produce the little potatoes. These liny potatoes

:33:43.:33:48.

here. And these are the baby potatoes that swell to turn into

:33:48.:33:53.

these and then eventually into the bake being potatoes you see in the

:33:53.:33:58.

shops. What the plant needs now to get these potatoes to their full

:33:58.:34:01.

size is plenty of water and plenty of sunshine. Ouch sight under e is

:34:01.:34:09.

plenty of water and plenty of sunshine. Ouch sight underground --

:34:09.:34:11.

out of sight underground Andrew hopes it is a miracle of nature -

:34:11.:34:16.

potatoes forming in the soil. To unearth the magic, here's Stefan

:34:16.:34:22.

Gates. How and why does sunshine and water get converted into a potato?

:34:23.:34:28.

Gates. How and why does sunshine and Above ground, photosynthesis creates

:34:28.:34:32.

the sugars the plant needs to grow. Any extra issuing arrest the plant

:34:32.:34:34.

the sugars the plant needs to grow. doesn't need to use immediately are

:34:34.:34:40.

instead used as building blocks to make larger starch molecule's. The

:34:40.:34:45.

starch is stored in the potato tuber we eat. Starch doesn't dissolve in

:34:45.:34:50.

water, so it is a safe water to store energy in the wet earth. Every

:34:50.:34:55.

single potato is like a power cell for the plant, packed to bursting

:34:55.:35:00.

with starch molecules. And that means it is full of energy. The

:35:00.:35:06.

potato use ooze its stored energy to grow a new plant. We use that starch

:35:06.:35:19.

for food. I know when you taste a potato you don't think of the

:35:19.:35:22.

energy, but have a look. I'm putting a couple of teaspoons of starch into

:35:22.:35:28.

this piping and then blow it across a naked flame to see what happens.

:35:28.:35:36.

What you saw there was the energy being released in just about 30 or

:35:36.:35:44.

40 calories of starch. The average spud contains around 150 calories.

:35:44.:35:50.

About ten potatoes would provide all your daily needs. This isn't

:35:50.:35:55.

recommended, but skin on potatoes are so rich in nutrients that

:35:55.:36:00.

supplemented with a bit of butter for fat, you would pretty much live

:36:00.:36:11.

just eating potatoes. Back in early July Farmer Andrew knew exactly what

:36:11.:36:16.

he wanted for his spuds to fill out. Sunshine is the key thing. We can

:36:16.:36:20.

put as much water on as we want but we can't make the sunshine. And boy

:36:20.:36:29.

oh boy did the sun shine in July! The longest heat wave this century,

:36:29.:36:34.

and it was Heaven sent for potato farmers like Andrew. Long, dry

:36:34.:36:40.

conditions aren't a crisis for commercial growers. They invest in

:36:40.:36:45.

ir gaig systems to spoke their spuds. Farmers know that every year

:36:45.:36:49.

their plants will require lots of water. Once they've flowered, to

:36:49.:36:54.

build up the potatoes. But even with the exceptional summer sun in July

:36:54.:36:58.

and August, growers couldn't know for sure what was happening out of

:36:58.:37:06.

sight in the soil. Now we are in the potato harvest, only the end of

:37:06.:37:11.

today will Andrew really know the the quality and quantity. So there

:37:11.:37:18.

seems to be plenty of potatoes here, mate. How many more fields have you

:37:18.:37:22.

got to go? We've only just started sta. We've got another 20 or 30

:37:22.:37:27.

fields to go yet. Where do they go from here? From here to the pack

:37:27.:37:32.

house for washing and sorting for supermarkets. What's some of your

:37:32.:37:37.

biggest issues? There's loads of challenges, but the biggest one is

:37:37.:37:44.

potato blight. What is that?It is a fungal disease that kills the

:37:44.:37:48.

foliage and rots the potato. If you get it in your crop it is a

:37:48.:37:53.

disaster. It spreads quickly across the country. What can you do?We

:37:53.:38:00.

have to spray. This year was dry, so we sprayed once a fortnight. We hate

:38:00.:38:07.

spraying, because pit costs a fortune. Tell me honestly, is it a

:38:07.:38:11.

question of the you don't spray you lose the lot? If you have got potato

:38:11.:38:16.

blight in your crop, it's a write-off. Potato blight is one of

:38:16.:38:21.

the natural enemies farmers have to contend with. Can you imagine if you

:38:21.:38:24.

could grow in an environment you contend with. Can you imagine if you

:38:24.:38:31.

could control? Philippa visited a farm in Kent where they are

:38:31.:38:35.

attempting just that. It is a freezing morning, minus 1, with

:38:35.:38:39.

highs of 3 degrees. So if you are out and about, wrap up warm... In

:38:39.:38:51.

the middle of winter, and in the middle of the night, here in Kent

:38:51.:38:58.

they harvest tomatoes. Tomatoes. An Army of pickers marches to work. And

:38:58.:39:04.

today I'm joining them The Morning Philippa, how are you? Freezing.You

:39:04.:39:09.

can take off your winter stuff now. Yeah? Leaving winter outside,

:39:09.:39:16.

suddenly I feel like I'm walking into summer. It goes on forever!

:39:16.:39:32.

It's amazing! It is isn't it?What an enormous place. Is this what

:39:32.:39:39.

happens to me if I stay in this greenhouse? I turn into the size of

:39:39.:39:45.

you. Have you spent doing in the greenhouse? I have.Dutch tomato

:39:45.:39:50.

you. Have you spent doing in the guru Gert van Straalen is a big man

:39:50.:39:55.

with an even bigger office. He's hoping his greenhouse will give him

:39:55.:39:59.

a bigger bite out of the UK the tomato business. Worth over £600

:39:59.:40:05.

million, and growing. UK farmers only meet about one fifth of our

:40:05.:40:09.

demand. So there's plenty of room for them to expand their market

:40:09.:40:16.

share. So if I look down there I can hardly see the end. If I look down

:40:16.:40:20.

there, I can hardly see the tend. How big is it? It is about 25 acres

:40:20.:40:26.

or ten football pitches. This one greenhouse is 25 acres? It is.So

:40:26.:40:31.

how many tomato plants does that translate to? We have 400,000 plants

:40:31.:40:36.

in the greenhouse and we'll be producing 50,000 kilos of tomatoes

:40:36.:40:39.

this week. We are the only ones in the UK who produce fruit through the

:40:39.:40:49.

winter. 50,000 kilos of tomatoes? In the middle of winter? How does Gert

:40:50.:40:56.

do it? Like his plants, I'm heading had up towards the rising sun to

:40:56.:41:04.

find out. This is an altogether very different view. It goes on for

:41:04.:41:16.

miles! This is where it happens. We've got blue sky today and it is

:41:17.:41:21.

easy to forget that it is absolutely freezing. It is.We were in here

:41:21.:41:23.

since it was dark, so how are you freezing. It is.We were in here

:41:23.:41:26.

managing to grow tomatoes in the middle of the UK in the middle of

:41:27.:41:34.

winter? The secret is is this Formula One greenhouse. We have all

:41:34.:41:37.

the ingredients that you need for perfect plant growing. During the

:41:37.:41:44.

winter months, daylight just isn't enough. So these huge lights

:41:44.:41:50.

illuminate and heat the greenhouse 16 hours a day. Buying electricity

:41:50.:41:56.

off the grid would be expensive, so this greenhouse has its own

:41:56.:42:01.

gas-fired power station that waste heat is fed back into the

:42:01.:42:06.

glasshouse. They also pipe waste carbon dioxide from the power plant

:42:06.:42:12.

into the tomato plants. The extra CO2 increases photosynthesis, so

:42:12.:42:20.

they grow quick we are. These plants are so happy. Yes, they are. You can

:42:20.:42:26.

see - they're much bigger than any tomato plant I have ever grown. Yes,

:42:26.:42:31.

the plants grow a foot a week. That's extraordinary! We actually

:42:31.:42:34.

have more light available to the plants than a Spanish or Italian

:42:34.:42:38.

producer would have. Outside? Outside, correct. So in here, it's

:42:38.:42:44.

better than the Mediterranean? It is. He is able to control every

:42:44.:42:52.

aspect of the growing environment. He's regulating the temperature and

:42:52.:42:56.

making sure his tomato plants have all the food and water they need.

:42:56.:43:03.

It's this high-tech greenhouse that allows him to produce his tomatoes

:43:03.:43:09.

year around. Tomatoes picked today should taste just as good as those

:43:09.:43:13.

harvested in the summer, but I still haven't tasted one yet.

:43:13.:43:18.

You can lay out all the tomatoes you want, but my deep belief is I will

:43:18.:43:22.

never find another tomato to match the first one of the year that I

:43:22.:43:27.

pick off the plant in my own greenhouse. You couldn't be further

:43:27.:43:32.

from the truth! There's one particular variety of variety he

:43:32.:43:42.

thinks will win me over. This is called piccolo. That's the perfect

:43:42.:43:48.

tomato, really sweet with just enough crunch. Is it better than

:43:48.:43:53.

yours? Not nearly as good as mine, but nine out of ten. You're nearly

:43:53.:43:58.

there. Thank you.Some question the energy cost of growing tomatoes in

:43:58.:44:05.

Britain in winter. Gert would argue it's no worse than shipping them in

:44:05.:44:09.

from Spain or Holland where they're grown in similar greenhouses. In the

:44:09.:44:14.

end, it's our insatiable appetite for tomatoes that fuels the

:44:14.:44:18.

development of facilities like this and keeps the tomato harvest going

:44:18.:44:20.

year around. Tromt toes aren't the only produce

:44:20.:44:29.

we're very particular about. Growers know they must deliver

:44:29.:44:34.

appealing-looking veg to tempt us to take that their harvest home. Months

:44:34.:44:40.

of worry and hard work nurturing these potatoes may yet come to

:44:40.:44:44.

nothing. They may yet make it out of the ground but are they good enough

:44:44.:44:50.

to go to the shops? And here are the first of the potato harvest. They're

:44:50.:44:54.

bought here after you have harvested them to be sorted, but actually,

:44:54.:44:58.

this is also crucial quality control for you, isn't it? Yes, this is one

:44:58.:45:04.

of the first of the harvest at the moment. We have to treat these

:45:04.:45:08.

delicately without breaking them. It's surprising to me - the rough,

:45:08.:45:12.

tough spud but you have to be gentle with them. It's not rough at all. It

:45:12.:45:16.

bruises very easily. How do you sort that out through the system? With

:45:16.:45:21.

well designed machinery with maximum drops of three or four inches.

:45:21.:45:25.

Quality control is obviously important to you before any potato

:45:25.:45:30.

leaves here? That's right. We have a simulator, which I'll show you down

:45:30.:45:37.

here. This very simple little device delivers enough force to simulate a

:45:37.:45:42.

five-inch drop on the concrete. This potato will then go in what we call

:45:42.:45:44.

a hot box, which is a sort of warm, potato will then go in what we call

:45:44.:45:48.

like an airing cupboard with high humidity, for 24 hours, and then the

:45:48.:45:52.

next day you get the potatoes out of the hot box and we peel then. And

:45:52.:45:56.

we're looking for the bruising. And the most susceptible places are on

:45:56.:46:00.

the ends of the potatoes. These are clean. There's no bruising in these.

:46:00.:46:03.

So it really is quite a process, after? I just thought you had to dig

:46:03.:46:08.

them up and send them off. If only life was that easy. But you're

:46:08.:46:11.

actually really checking out the bruises, potential, and the ones

:46:11.:46:16.

that are bruised. And what happens to the ones that are bruised? If we

:46:16.:46:20.

get a sample with too many bruising on, we can't use it for our premium

:46:20.:46:25.

outlets, so it will end up going for processing or for animal feed. So

:46:25.:46:28.

these potatoes going in there now, what happens to them? We're going to

:46:28.:46:31.

size them, so we'll split them into small and large, and then they're

:46:31.:46:35.

going to go away to the packhouse for washing and pre-packing. Harvest

:46:35.:46:38.

2013 is heading our way. Over the next year, on average, each one of

:46:38.:46:42.

us will eat the equivalent of 450 medium-sized potatoes. --

:46:42.:46:53.

380-medium-sized potatoes. Everything about spuds comes in big

:46:53.:46:58.

numbers, except the profit per bag. To make money most vegetable farmers

:46:58.:47:03.

have to scale up their operation. But I've met a one grower whose big

:47:03.:47:07.

idea is a small-scale harvest, tiny, in fact! To search out this

:47:07.:47:10.

micro-business, I headed north to Scotland. St Andrews is famous as

:47:10.:47:25.

the home of golf. But it's also home to a small farm that's supplying

:47:25.:47:28.

some very customers with some rather extraordinary veg. Now, are they

:47:28.:47:32.

baby vegetables or have I grown an enormous head? They're cute,

:47:32.:47:35.

baby vegetables or have I grown an they? And I'd really like to find

:47:35.:47:46.

out more about them. Henry Aykroyd used to grow normal-size veg for

:47:46.:47:52.

some of our biggest supermarkets. But he struggled to make it pay. So

:47:52.:47:56.

he down-sized his product, and now his customer base is more

:47:56.:47:59.

Michelin-starred, people like Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal. Ooh,

:47:59.:48:04.

is it harvest time? That's right. Can I lend a hand? Course you can.

:48:04.:48:09.

I'll be quite gentle with it. Beautiful little turnips. How do you

:48:09.:48:14.

get them to only grow to that size? Well, it's all about plant density,

:48:14.:48:24.

really. These are grown at nearly 800 to the square metre. In these

:48:24.:48:28.

perfect conditions in here, they just take four or five weeks to

:48:28.:48:37.

grow. N So if they were more spaced out, they'd get bigger. That's it,

:48:37.:48:41.

is it? Yes. More time and more space, they get much bigger. And how

:48:41.:48:44.

much is the average order? We're charging 25p a unit for these. Some

:48:44.:48:47.

people might think that's ridiculously expensive, but I don't.

:48:47.:48:51.

I don't. I can see that. I mean, in a smart restaurant you probably only

:48:51.:48:55.

get three of those on a plate anyway. So that's 75p. He's growing

:48:55.:49:00.

some fantastic veg, and I suppose shrinking his business literally has

:49:00.:49:04.

increased the profit. I mean, he used to get 25p for half a kilo of

:49:04.:49:09.

veg. Now he gets 25p for every single little turnip. But it isn't

:49:09.:49:16.

all about the size. He's also experimenting with some

:49:16.:49:27.

revolutionary growing techniques. It's like a disco for little plants!

:49:28.:49:35.

Henry is collaborating with Professor John Allen. In the 1960s

:49:35.:49:41.

John developed the world's first practical LED lights. Now John is

:49:41.:49:44.

working with the horticulture industry to research how coloured

:49:44.:49:53.

LEDs may increase plant growth. Right. Are you going to explain, or

:49:53.:49:58.

try to explain, some of the science behind this to me? Yes, here I've

:49:58.:50:02.

got some radishes. They've been growing for three weeks from seed.

:50:02.:50:07.

And these were grown under 100% red light, and you can see the top

:50:07.:50:11.

growth is quite long. And these have been grown under 100% blue. And you

:50:11.:50:15.

see they're very much shorter. No chemicals? No chemicals, just light.

:50:15.:50:26.

No growing additives? No growing additives. That's just crazy. The

:50:26.:50:29.

difference between those three is entirely the colour of the light.

:50:29.:50:32.

John's red light has increased photosynthesis in his plant, making

:50:32.:50:35.

it grow bigger. But John's also discovered that combining red light

:50:35.:50:38.

with blue light increases root growth. And that could make better

:50:38.:50:42.

veg. So if the light can affect the shape and colour of the plant, I'm

:50:42.:50:44.

almost scared to ask this - could it shape and colour of the plant, I'm

:50:44.:50:53.

affect the flavour? Yes. You can try it. Have a bit of that and have a

:50:53.:50:58.

bit of that. And see if they're different. Well, that one's quite

:50:58.:51:04.

strong and peppery. That one's mild. Yes. They taste completely

:51:04.:51:09.

different. Yes, this is exciting. It's very, very exciting. Anything

:51:09.:51:13.

else? The nutritional quality of the plant can be changed by the colour

:51:13.:51:18.

of the light. A red or blue light or a combination can actually make our

:51:18.:51:23.

foods better for us? That's right, and that's important. That's

:51:23.:51:28.

seriously important. Science is fun! You're going to be really famous.

:51:28.:51:32.

You won't any longer have to do Father Christmas in the department

:51:32.:51:38.

store! LAUGHTER

:51:38.:51:41.

Well, it brings in useful pocket money. John isn't alone in

:51:41.:51:47.

researching the effects of light on plant growth and taste. The results

:51:47.:51:52.

may have a really big impact on our future harvest. At the moment,

:51:52.:51:56.

Henry's feeding high-end diners, but John hopes that one day what they

:51:56.:52:01.

learn with these tiny crops will help feed the world with higher

:52:01.:52:09.

quality vegetable vegetables. Now, look at that. Who 'd have ever

:52:09.:52:14.

believed it that you could actually change the flavour of a vegetable by

:52:14.:52:17.

shining a different coloured light on it? Henry and John may appear to

:52:17.:52:23.

be a bit eccentric, but I think they have stumbled on something here. I

:52:23.:52:26.

know it's early days, but this could be the future. A different colour

:52:26.:52:30.

light can make a vegetable taste better and make it more nutritious.

:52:30.:52:33.

That is amazing. But right now, what concerns us more

:52:33.:52:38.

is Andrew's crop. Now, Andrew, unlike other vegetables, your

:52:38.:52:42.

potatoes have been growing under the ground, so they're being lifted for

:52:42.:52:46.

the first time today, and now we'll get a real idea of the quality and

:52:46.:52:50.

quantity. That's right. This is the day of judgment, the moment of

:52:50.:52:54.

truth. It doesn't matter how many times you sample. You never know

:52:54.:52:59.

what you have until you put your harvester in. Is that the first

:53:00.:53:06.

load? Are you happy with the yield? I am. I am not quite up to target

:53:06.:53:11.

but a lot more than this time last year. So the indications are it's

:53:11.:53:15.

going the right way? Going the right way. Right. A cook like me, an old

:53:15.:53:19.

green grocer, what's the quality like? I am very happy with this

:53:19.:53:26.

quality of crop. It's a lovely, waxy, fresh potato. You look pretty

:53:26.:53:31.

satisfied. I am happy.Where you been? On the tractor? Yeah, you know

:53:31.:53:37.

me and farm machinery. I can't help it. Big boys' toys, eh?I love it.

:53:37.:53:43.

How is the broccoli harvest going now? Very well since June. We're

:53:43.:53:48.

going flat out until the middle of November. That's amazing. Potatoes

:53:48.:53:54.

are up. That's good. Broccoli, good. Any late successes? Onions, I don't

:53:54.:53:59.

think are ever going to make the target. Mixed report, but all in

:53:59.:54:03.

all... I am happier than last year. Good to know. The question is, are

:54:03.:54:07.

we going to import into the UK potatoes and other vegetables this

:54:08.:54:12.

year, or will we be self-sufficient? Time to find out how harvest 2013

:54:12.:54:14.

year, or will we be self-sufficient? has affected the rest of the

:54:14.:54:16.

country. Let's look at the national picture,

:54:16.:54:22.

starting with potatoes. In a year, on average, we grow 5.7 million

:54:22.:54:29.

tonnes, but in 2012, wet weather hit potatoes hard. The crop was down

:54:29.:54:34.

nearly a quarter. Harvest 2013 will be better. We predict spuds up 20%

:54:34.:54:46.

on last year. The glorious summer broke the record for salad sales.

:54:46.:54:50.

Congratulations to our farmers who grew more than 15% more salad leaf

:54:50.:54:54.

than last year, but it's not all good news. Some veg struggled to

:54:54.:54:58.

grow in the cold spring, and farmers are still counting the costs.

:54:59.:55:03.

Carrots are currently down about 8%, but they should catch up. What about

:55:03.:55:09.

onions? On average, we grow 400,000 tonnes of onions a year. In 2012,

:55:09.:55:14.

onion farmers failed to reach that target. Harvest 2013 is likely to be

:55:14.:55:19.

even worse. Onions didn't get the warm spring needed for their bulbs

:55:19.:55:21.

even worse. Onions didn't get the to fill out. But good news for

:55:21.:55:25.

brussel sprouts lovers. In 2012, sprouts fell well short. But this

:55:25.:55:34.

year, early reports suggest a green Christmas, sprouts may be up a

:55:34.:55:41.

third. So on the whole, our vegetable farmers are happy in the

:55:41.:55:46.

sun of 2013. So Andrew, a brief moment to just

:55:46.:55:53.

sit with us and think about how this year's gone cos we have been

:55:53.:55:56.

following you through this whole year, which has been such a

:55:56.:55:59.

privilege, and thank you for having us, and it's been amazing to see

:55:59.:56:03.

just what you go through and what you're faced with in the course of a

:56:03.:56:06.

year. It all starts again tomorrow for us. We're already planning and

:56:06.:56:11.

planting next year's crops, at Christmas, King Edward potatoes,

:56:11.:56:15.

parsnips and brussel sprouts - they all go mad at Christmas. So you've

:56:15.:56:19.

got another harvest before the end of the year? We have a huge week -

:56:19.:56:21.

got another harvest before the end the biggest week of our year is

:56:21.:56:25.

Christmas week. Is it? And you still have a smile on your face. I don't

:56:25.:56:30.

know why. Can we get stuck into some of these, chips here - I mean

:56:30.:56:33.

roastiesactually when you look at this you're actually providing the

:56:33.:56:37.

nation's favourite food, aren't you? That's the plan. Look at that. I

:56:37.:56:43.

don't know anyone in these beautiful windswept islands that doesn't enjoy

:56:43.:56:49.

these. No. Well, we've got Maris Piper for the chips, King Edward for

:56:49.:56:50.

the roasties and Corral for the Piper for the chips, King Edward for

:56:50.:56:53.

salads. See I haven't eaten one of these, can I? Help yourself. Skin on

:56:53.:57:02.

man, are you? Tell me what you think of them? It's soft and really

:57:02.:57:06.

earthy. You don't know a dairy farmer who has a kilo of butter, do

:57:06.:57:14.

you? Not around here.We're set. We have some nice beer. Tell you what's

:57:14.:57:17.

impressed me - two things - one is the scale of the operation to farm

:57:17.:57:20.

potatoes. The other is the passion for the subject. How did it get

:57:20.:57:25.

under your skin like that? I just love farming, growing crops, growing

:57:25.:57:30.

great crops on great farmers is so satisfying. And this year

:57:30.:57:33.

particularly must have been a bit more satisfying. Last year was a

:57:33.:57:38.

disaster. I want to forget about it. It's a year I'll probably never

:57:38.:57:42.

forget - wish I could. This year has been good fun. Despite having us lot

:57:42.:57:46.

around. Despite having you lot around. We have had quite a laugh

:57:46.:57:49.

really. We have learnt so much. Thank you so much. If you want to

:57:49.:57:55.

pick up tips and recipes written by the great Gregg Wallace, go to our

:57:55.:58:00.

website and you can download this leaflet. They're not just some

:58:00.:58:05.

recipes. They're fantastic. They're delicious. You can find out about

:58:05.:58:09.

events surrounding the harvest near you, free ones as well. I would like

:58:09.:58:14.

to raise a glass because where would we be in Britain in the UK without

:58:14.:58:17.

the potato? Cheers to the potato. Cheers to you, Andrew. King Edward.

:58:17.:58:23.

Next time: As the harvest continues, we unleash the combines. We discover

:58:23.:58:30.

what it takes to bring in our daily bread. Join us for Harvest 2013

:58:30.:58:33.

tomorrow at 8.00pm.

:58:33.:58:35.

Right across our countryside it's harvest time. Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester are down on the farm revealing the results of this year's harvest as it comes in. This is the spectacular climax of the farming year, when fortunes are won or lost in the attempt to put food on our plates. Our farmers have spent all year carefully tending their crops helped by the very latest science, but they are still completely at the mercy of our fickle weather. Can they put a disastrous 2012, the coldest spring for 50 years and a scorching July behind them and work their magic to bring in a bumper crop?

In the first episode we visit the fertile fenland of Lincolnshire, the vegetable capital of Britain. Gregg Wallace, a former greengrocer, and Philippa Forrester, science expert and home grower, join farmer Andrew Burgess at the start of the main potato harvest to see the struggle to grow, and gather in potatoes, still our favourite vegetable. They discover how the massive potato harvesters must treat them as delicately as eggs otherwise bruises will ruin the crop. Gregg and Philippa also experience how broccoli is picked and packed in minutes using the amazing broccoli 'field factory', the only one of its kind in Britain. Food fanatic Stefan Gates explains some of the incredible science behind food production, in Kent Philippa explores Britain's biggest greenhouse where tomatoes can be harvested year round, and in Scotland Gregg reveals a revolutionary new approach to growing baby veg.

For the first time on TV, the series will reveal an early harvest report for the UK, which will give an indication of which crops are likely to be the winners and losers in 2013. Have potatoes managed to recover from the washout of 2012 when the crop was down by a third and prices spiraled. How did the cold spring have a surprising impact on our broccoli supply, and what has the record heat wave done to sales of salad? Harvest 2013 tells the story of food through the high and lows of a remarkable year of weather.

Harvest 2013 is supported by BBC Learning who have produced a booklet to explain the science behind producing UK crops, together with recipes from Gregg Wallace using harvest produce. The booklet will be available online at www.bbc.co.uk/Harvest.