Vine House Farm - From our field to your bird table - the complete process

A major difference between us and our competitors is that for much of the seed we sell, the whole process from planting the crop, growing it, harvesting it, cleaning and processing the seed, packing the product and dispatching direct to you, all takes place on our farm. This keeps quality high and cuts out any middlemen, and therefore keeps our prices to a minimum.

The following are the crops we grow on our farm and supply direct to our customers: black sunflower seeds (though some additional supplies have to be brought in), canary seed, white millet, red millet, wheat, oil seed rape and rolled naked oats.

For more details about the black sunflower seeds we grow and supply see Bird food direct from the farm.

This is an outline of the process we go through each year…

  1. drilling-sunflowers-resized.jpgPlanting the seeds – Neil undertakes the drilling which takes place from March to May, with the birds’ favourite, black sunflower, being planted last in May.

  2. Inspection – Robert inspects each field frequently throughout the growing season to ensure the crop is growing to its optimum. Our sunflowers are also enjoyed by many different species when they’re growing – especially wood pigeons! But we try our best to keep birds off the sunflower fields in the first month of growing, and indeed by having large areas of the farm reserved for wild flowers and weed patches ensures there is always other food available for them.

  3. sunflowers.jpgHarvesting – combine harvesting of the various crops, again undertaken by Neil, begins in July with the rape and wheat and continues through to October when the white millet and sunflowers are harvested – two months after most farmers have cleaned and put away their combines for the year!

  4. Cleaning and drying – whilst the combine separates the seed from the rest of the plant, the seed still undergoes a thorough clean, with this ensuring all waste is discarded. At this time we also dry the grain to ensure it stays in prime condition.

  5. bagging-seed-resized.jpgDelivery of foods we cannot grow such as peanuts–as these products are unloaded they are thoroughly checked for quality, by Lucy, before being accepted. Where possible we aim to buy food as locally as possible – e.g. our kibbled maize is grown in Norfolk and all of our suet products are manufactured in the UK.

  6. Mixing and bagging – this is an important part of the process and we ensure that each bag has exactly the right mix and weight, with quality control taking place throughout the process.

  7. pic_UKMail-resized.jpgTaking orders – David and the team are in our offices above the farm shop 7 days a week processing postal, telephone and web orders.

  8. Packing and dispatch –our dispatch team ensure that you are sent exactly what you ordered. Orders are dispatched on our next working day delivery service through UK Mail.

  9. Sit back Sit back and enjoy watching the birds in your garden as they enjoy a feast of high quality bird food!