How A Stainless Steel Filter Helps You To Buy The Freshest Fruit & Veg
B.E. Bransden and Sons Ltd farm 40 hectares of Thames valley alluvium at Laleham Farm near Shepperton Studios in Middlesex. It’s a proper Market Garden producing herbs, spinach, kohlrabi, spring onions, sunflowers and more. They have saved time and money using a Rotorflush self-cleaning vegetable washing filter.
Charlie and his sister Clare have been running the business since 1986. Despite the boom and bust of the economy and recent extreme weather events they still manage a healthy turnover; profits in this business however can be a little more elusive.
Speed to Market
The edge that a relatively small market garden can retain over larger suppliers is in the quality of produce and in the speed that produce can get to market. All Laleham Farm produce is hand harvested daily on demand, washed, cooled, packed and despatched on the day.
Charlie’s interest in Rotorflush filters came from the need to meet daily delivery deadlines, which could be easily missed if washing equipment blocked and interrupted the production process. He needed a vegetable washing filter.
All Laleham Farm produce is spray washed along a roller belt before moving on to be packed. Soil types in this part of the Thames flood plain range from sands and silts right though brick-earths with some areas of particularly sticky clay – a challenge for any type of washing and filtering system.
Using mains water is prohibitively expensive so there is a need to recycle dirty water. It does not take much plant debris to block a pump, and even less to clog spray nozzles. Any downtime in this equipment means a longer time from farm to market, and possible loss of sales. Efficient filtration is critical. A vegetable washing filter that protects the pump and the washer nozzles from blockage would solve this problem and speed up production.
Where to find a vegetable washing filter?
Leafing through Farmers Weekly Charlie saw a review of Rotorflush’s RF series self-cleaning intake filters when Rotorflush won the their New Invention Competition in 1995. He recognised the solution to his problem of losing time when his washing equipment blocked or his pump seals failed. The Rotorflush self-cleaning strainer would be an ideal vegetable washing filter.
What he saw was the Rotorflush self-cleaning intake strainer with automatic backwash. This is a unique innovation that filters on the pump intake and keeps the inlet filter screen clean and clear. It does not interrupt the supply of water yet filters out debris and suspended solids that block pumps and nozzles.
Rotorflush are always happy to help
Jim Hosford at Rotorflush Filters Ltd (a farmer turned Filterpump manufacturer) gave Charlie his best advice for the installation and use of the RF400R filters.
Veg washing water accumulates in a small lagoon that feeds into settlement tanks before being pumped out again for the next round of washing. Charlie’s Rotorflush filter strains the intake from his second settlement tank to his pumps. The unique design of the Rotorflush self-cleaning filter keeps debris away from the filter so it does not block guaranteeing a filtered supply of water to his vegetable washing operation.
“one of the most significant investments we’ve made”Charlie Bransden
How well do they work?
Charlie says in terms of cost saving these filters are “one of the most significant investments we’ve made” giving the “biggest continuing result”of any equipment. Has he saved time and money? The previously frequent, laborious and expensive task of changing seals on the vegetable washing pumps now only occurs every few years, the water bill is lower and the reliability of the filters has massively reduced downtime.
Charlie bought his first stainless steel Rotorflush filters in 1998……as Charlie says their performance is ‘beyond expectations’.
Periodically, accumulated debris is removed from the tank – but this can be done at less production critical times. Downtime is minimised and most of the veg washing water is recycled keeping clean water costs low.
Charlie’s filters have been in use for over a decade and thanks to their solid stainless steel construction and simple design they, like Laleham Farm, are still going strong.