Our Commitment To
We are absolutely thrilled to share a video made by Braintree District Council in which Oliver talks about our commitment to sustainability. It also features Farmer Matthew who grows the vegetables at Olivers Kitchen Garden.
Reduced Carbon Footprint By Growing Plants At Our Production Nursery
Our Production Nursery is located 2 miles from our Plant Centre. Growing the majority of our plants on-site reduces the need for us to import a large number of plants with a hefty carbon footprint!
This also means that any plants can be returned to the Nursery where they can be potted on and looked after until they can be sold again, meaning that our wastage levels remain very low.
We don’t force plants, which uses a large amount of heat and light energy. Not only is this better for the environment, but it also results in longer-lasting plants that are better acclimatised to the elements.
Peat Free Compost
We are now Peat-Free at our Production Nursery and after extensive trials we are now bagging our own blend of professional compost. Olivers Professional 100% Peat-Free Compost information is available to view here and at the Plant Centre.
Low Energy Lighting
The grow lights we use at our Production Nursery are fitted with LED bulbs. The bulbs emit the optimum wavelengths of light needed for photosynthesis, which are red, blue and far-red, this is why the lights appear pink.
Our LEDs are far more efficient than sodium bulbs, not only do they produce specific desired wavelengths, but they also have significantly reduced heat loss by comparison. The lights also use a sensor so they turn on and off as needed.
Did You Know?
Our stick-in plant labels are fully recyclable
Once you are finished with them, they can go into your home recycling
The informative stick-in and clip-on labels that we use on a large number of our plants are made from a fully recyclable material so they can go straight in your kerbside recycling.
We have also invested in 3 new printers that reduce our wastage by printing the exact desired number of labels and we are printing them edge to edge.
In 2022 we have also invested in a bespoke cutting machine to enable us to cut more precisely and create less waste.
Recyclable Pots & Trays
To reduce our plastic consumption, we also use reusable plastic pot trays to transport plants between the Nursery and the Plant Centre.
We expect these trays to last for many years, and we will use them countless times.
In addition we have cardboard trays for our customers to take away. These are compositable and biodegradable.
We are also researching paper plant sleeves for Houseplant transport.
Both at the Plant Centre and Nursery, we harvest as much rainwater as possible to feed our irrigation systems.
We have recently constructed a new water tank at the Nursery which will store and filter 750,000 litres of rainwater, along with excess surface water runoff collected on site.
A water collection system has also been implemented at the Plant Centre that harvests surface runoff from the ground and redirects it back into the irrigation. The water is then used to irrigate the Plant Centre and the Kitchen Garden.
Soil Improver & Manure Bagged By Us
Wherever possible, we try to source products locally. Manure comes from our livestock, the soil improver and woodchip are both sourced from the surrounding area, reducing the distances that our products travel to reach us and supporting the local economy.
We use innovative technology for the heating at our Black Horse Café. We use two separate systems that work in unison.
We use an air source heat pump to produce hot water and heating and we use a MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery) unit to ventilate the Café.
The air volume in the building is renewed every hour and the heat from the air being discharged is utilised to heat the incoming fresh air, reducing the need for any fossil fuels.
Less Food Miles & better results for our customers
Our Kitchen Garden supplies fresh vegetables to our Black Horse Café therefore our ingredients travel less miles – only about 100 yards!
We are also able to test varieties to see which work best on the local soil which will help our customers have greater success with their crops too.