Jan Bezemer & Sons was formed in the mid 1940s by Dutchman Jan Bezemer after demob from the Dutch army. A couple of acres of land provided growing area for outdoor vegetables to sell at the local markets.
Over the years, Jan bought more land and built ‘flat frames’ (like large cloches) to protect the crops he grew and, in the late 1950s, built his first wooden Dutch light glasshouses, moving more into salad crops such as lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers, though still growing cauliflowers and cabbages on the outdoor land.
By the late 1970s and 1980s, more modern aluminium glasshouses with oil fired heating had been built and the business specialised ever more in indoor crops. Lettuce was grown in the winter and cucumbers and tomatoes over the summer. By the early 1990s, oil was replaced with coal and more glass constructed. By the year 2000, the nursery had expanded to around 12 acres, growing tomatoes and cucumbers.
A Combined Heat and Power Station replaced the coal heating plant around 2004, which generates electricity for the National Grid and the heat and CO2 produced are directed to the nursery, reducing overall emissions and making the business even more energy efficient.
Today, three generations on, the business is still family run with Richard Bezemer, grandson of the founder, at the helm.