Kent grower Ian Johnston, managing director of Highland Court Farm, has succeeded in growing apricots in Britain.
He took up the idea five years ago from importer Migrant Fruit which rented a packhouse and planted a trial one and half acre plot of Tomcots which is now in commercial bearing.
Apricots flower early so are in danger of being frost-damaged, which was their fate last year. This summer, however, there has been a good crop, sold by Sainsbury at selected branches as well as at wholesale.
“The fruit ate very well and the taste is superior to imports, although the skin is tougher,” says Johnston.