Soft fruit growers utilise original solution
The Hampshire-based New Forest Fruit Company have realised the potential of Gripple products to promote the growth of their strawberries. Specialists in soft fruit, the company has over 11 acres of greenhouses, and is the proud winner of the Investor in People Award, a member of the RSPB and a LEAF demonstration farm to promote sustainable farming.
Company director Sandy Booth chose to grow strawberries in the ground for many years, until he realised there was an alternative - the table-top. Step in Gripple, with a product range that suits the application perfectly. Developed to prevent diseases and produce a higher tonnage of fruit, the table-top method suspends crops in the air. With the plants supported by wire and galvanised posts, they are kept off the ground and away from potential infections. The system provides greater support for heavy loads and makes picking extremely fast and efficient, and as the soil does not need to be ploughed the system can be left in place for years to come.
On his first plantation, Sandy opted to use the Gripple Jumbo and the GPAK 4 for a quick anchoring solution, and the Gripple Torq Tensioning Tool was used to ensure every line wire had equal tension. For his new, larger plantation, Sandy settled on a mixture of the Gripple Jumbo and the GP2, the latter being used behind the end-post. This negated the need to cut the wire in the middle, or to bend the wire around the metal end post and tie it off, greatly cutting his time and labour costs. Sandy is confident that in future the rest of their strawberry fields will make the move to table-tops.