Faversham Food Hero 2018

Peter Vinson receives the award from local MP Helen Whately

In 1986 Peter Vinson commenced a strawberry breeding programme, initially as a hobby which subsequently has become a major commercial enterprise within its own right. This allowed the development of a strawberry propagation business growing plants of varieties developed within the breeding programme.

Peter Vinson was not the only family member to have an acute interest in new varieties. In 1886 Edward Vinson Senior was invited to visit Laxton’s Nurseries in Bedford to view a new variety named Royal Sovereign. He took with him a barrow boy to help judge the value of the fruit. The barrow boy consumed so much of Mr Laxton’s whiskey that Edward Vinson decided to order some plants even though he was not that impressed with what he saw. Royal Sovereign was improved to be the major variety grown for the next 50 years. Edward Vinson Junior had an interest in new variety development and was in contact with strawberry breeders during the middle part of 20th century. He was influential in persuading Robert Reid, the Scottish strawberry breeder, to release a variety named Red Gauntlet which was grown by the company for some 40 years.


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