Here at Boxford Farms, we pride ourselves on supplying a fantastic range of high-quality fresh produce to our customers, while working hard to be as sustainable as possible. We’re continually evolving processes to help the environment, using by-products from the farm to supply various forms of energy via an AD (anaerobic digestion) plant while looking after the all-important bees that make fruit growing possible.
Our AD plant uses a natural biological process that converts maize, out-graded fruit and apple pomace into renewable heat and power, and nutrient-rich biofertiliser. The on-farm AD plant was developed using local resources and by-products from fruit growing and packing. The energy produced helps lower input costs, reducing our carbon footprint and benefitting local communities and the environment. AD plant technology has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 20% and can help to meet nine of the 17 UN sustainable development goals.
Warm and thriving
The old wood from our orchards is either converted into woodchips (which are then sent to heat the greenhouses for the soft fruit) or the logs are cut up and used around the farm to help local wildlife to thrive. We also use heat generated by the AD plant to dry applewood, which can then be sold as logs or used at the Stoke by Nayland Resort.
An intelligent irrigation system is used at the farm which allows us to feed and water our crops precisely, calculating the exact time they need to be fed and watered in the right quantity. The technology monitors the weather constantly, detecting any issues and automatically feeding back relevant information needed to protect the crops. Water is supplied from our reservoir, filled with rainwater collected from the roofs of our glass houses, cold store buildings and soft fruit. We have also fitted solar panels to the roof of our packhouse and apple stores to further complement this fully circular, beneficial, economy.
Boxford Farms was awarded the ‘Best Biogas Plant Award’ at the International Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Biogas Awards in 2019, and we were highly commended for the most innovative approach to the integration of energy systems.