Courgettes, Pumpkins and Squash all belong to the genus Cucurbita and all originate in North and South America. Cucurbita maxima usually describes larger pumpkins, Cucurbita moschata for many Butternut varieties and Cucurbita pepo for many of the small ones, and squash. Courgettes are usually of the species pepo.
Courgette plants are raised on our own nursery so full traceability is ensured.
Seed is sourced from various suppliers.
New varieties are constantly being trialled where we look at such things as fruit quality, yield and disease and virus tolerance.
All courgettes are grown on black polythene to suppress weeds, eliminating the need for herbicides, and to ensure the fruits are always clean even in the most difficult conditions. At the end of the season the polythene is removed with a purpose built machine which vibrates to clear any soil and plant debris. Polythene is sent for cleaning and then recycled.
Oakley Farms’ courgettes are all harvested and packed on specially designed rigs. This is to eliminate as much handling as possible and ensures top quality fruits. Each harvesting rig operates with 13 people: – 7 cutting, 4 packing a tractor driver and a supervisor.
By using our harvesting rigs the courgettes can be picked, handled and packed cleanly even during the wettest weather. A courgette rig can harvest approximately 4 hectares of courgettes each day, 7 days a week. Oakley Farms have one of the largest fleets of courgette harvesting rigs in the UK.
Courgettes are packed into customers’ trays or cardboard boxes or Oakley Farms own brand boxes. A range of sizes can be graded –
140 – 180mm
180 – 210mm
210 – 250mm
Cold chain distribution is available to anywhere in the UK and Northern Europe if required.