In 1889 George Pearson (my grandfather) moved from Bluster Farm Cutthorpe to take on a rundown nursery of about 10 acres at St.Georges Farm, Mickley Lane, Totley. St Georges Farm had previously been owned by the Guild of St.George, one of philanthropist John Ruskin’s experiments in communal living.
Around 1910 the Pearson family also rented Birchin Lea Farm at Dronfield Woodhouse. In the picture which was taken at St.Georges Farm around 1914 is Grandfather George centre, Uncles Charlie, Tom and Frank and my father Arthur on the right.
By the 1930s they had erected seven greenhouses and a packing shed on the St.Georges site, and grew bedding plants, tomatoes and cucumbers. Around this time we purchased the rented land here at Birchin Lea together with two other fields adjoining to make a total area of 43 acres.
In this picture is a load of lettuce and a load of cauliflower waiting to go to market, they used to set off at 4am for the Castle Market in Sheffield and get back home at about mid day. Here at Birchin Lea they grew trees, shrubs, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, potatoes, outdoor flowers and vegetables.
In 1962 the firm of G Pearson & Sons as it was then known was wound up as one of my uncles wanted to retire so they all went their separate ways and my father started the firm of A.Pearson & Sons here at Birchin Lee.
In the hot summer of 1976, when all the strawberries were ripening faster than our staff could pick them, we decided to open the fields of strawberries to the public for Pick Your Own and we have been doing it ever since.
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