Nick Overy

I’m Nick Avery, a second generation grower from the Low and High Weald of Kent. My father, Ian, pictured with me here is also very much involved in the growing. My son, Henry, is at present studying Agriculture at Newcastle University and hopes to return to the farm after his studies and some travelling.

How long have you been growing blackcurrants?

We have been growing blackcurrants for Ribena for nearly 30 years.

What varieties do you grow and in what region?

We grow Ben Gairn, Ben Starav, Ben Klibrek, Ben Avon, Ben Hope, Ben Alder, Ben Tirran.

How much do you harvest annually and where do they go?

We grow 300 tonnes and they all go to Ribena.

What else do you grow?
On our farm we grow Gala apples for Tesco, wheat, oilseed rape, beans and grass, which we grow for haylage for horses.
Why do you love growing blackcurrants?
We love growing blackcurrants because they are different from any other crop we grow. We love to be one of growers in the UK that are part of the Ribena family.
Can you give one tip that people could benefit from when growing blackcurrants?

One tip for growing blackcurrants is, when the bushes get to 7/8 years old, cut them down to the base to rejuvenate them.

Can you tell us about some of the ways in which you manage the land sustainably?

We only cut our hedges and field margins every other year. We have erected over 60 bird boxes, and 6 barn owl boxes across 4 farms. We have cleared ponds and established wildflower meadows. Every year we coppice an area of woodland, which encourages young growth and brings light into areas of woodland. We have planted over 300 metres of new hedgerows in the last two years and planted countless trees.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy blackcurrants?
 My wife makes a lovely blackcurrant sorbet.