28 August 2019
Former Harper Adams student Laura Brady, FdSc Agriculture, has been growing a wide range of weird and wonderful fresh produce for her self-started business ‘The Wonky Parsnip Horticulture’.
Inspired by her placement year at Emmett UK, fresh vegetable growers and suppliers, Laura set up her own veg patch at home.
Laura said: “Being a passionate cook I wanted to grow unusual things to use that weren’t easily accessible in the shops.”
The Wonky Parsnip Horticulture produces more than 150 varieties of produce. Some of Laura’s favourites include electric daisies, which are ‘an edible flower that is like eating 1,000 packets of popping candy’; cucamelons, grape-sized cucumbers with the striping of a watermelon, and tomatillos which are a Mexican lime flavoured fruit that makes ‘insane salsa’.
During her time with Emmett UK, Laura was an Assistant Harvest Manager on leeks and spinach, along with working on irrigation, tractors and carrying out supermarket audits.
On her time at Harper Adams, Laura said: “I learnt a huge amount at both Harper and on placement. From the academic side of things, being able to work out fertiliser rates and having knowledge of soil science are always handy on the arable side of the farm. Fresh produce production taught me a huge amount about how the industry works.
“On placement, I had the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the business, and now I run my own that proved very handy. From people skills, to tractor driving right through to man management.”
Reflecting on her time at Harper, Laura looks back fondly having learned lots and had great fun along her university journey, which she says included some great nights out.