Everything is linked to soil. Flourish Produce’s founder, Calixta Killander, doesn’t just plan for the seasons and years to come. She thinks about future decades of harvest. Owing to that fact, if we are to create a more nutritious food system for future generations, it starts with healthy soil.
“Depleted soil cannot grow good food,” explains Calixta. “When you respect it and look after it, the plants flourish.”
Having grown up on a conventional arable farm, she had no interest in a future in farming. That was until she came to realise farming and working with nature was a way to do something proactive and positive to help tackle some of the world’s problems.
After working on farms across the US and seeing the regenerative models that work well, she brought her learnings back to set up Flourish Produce in South Cambridgeshire, between the villages of Hildersham and Linton.
“At Flourish, we are mimicking as much as we can what we see in nature.”
Calixta Killander, Founder of Flourish Produce
These days Calixta and her team grow over 750 varieties of crops. It’s a diversified farming operation that focuses on high-value crops, which may be uncommon in the UK, yet it’s already tried and tested in the US.
You would never find one type of tree or grass in a woodland or prairie. There is always diversity. A wide variety of vegetables, flowers, herbs, garnishes, salads, fruit, and heritage grains can also support each other.
“At Flourish, we are mimicking as much as we can what we see in nature,” says Calixta.
The importance of healthy soil cannot be overstated because at the end of the day, how can plants and vegetables have nutrition if the soil is depleted?
“Ultimately, that’s where all of our nutrients for all the food we eat come from,” concludes Calixta.