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Greenlit: Harvest, BBC2

Harvest (3 x 60′) – This series, hosted by Gregg Wallace and Philippa Forrester, will reveal the secrets behind the culmination of our crop-growing season, and shed light on British farming and its contribution to our food.

Gregg and Philippa will visit farms to see how farmers use their knowledge of nature combined with hard work, precision planting, weather watching and smart logistics to gather in the billions of pounds of produce upon which we all depend. There will also be expert contributions from Stefan Gates on the science behind growing great crops.

In addition, and for the first time on TV, the series will reveal an early harvest report for the UK, which will give an indication of which crops are likely to be the winners and losers in 2013.

The 2013 figures for cereals, vegetables and fruit will show how our farmers are faring in their battle to recover from the seemingly endless winter, and coldest spring for 50 years. Harvest will examine how growing conditions affect the quality and taste of produce; the science behind the secret life of plants; and the crafty tricks of nature that farmers and growers must master. Can our growers rise to the challenge of feeding Britain under extreme conditions?

This year’s harvest is one of the most important for a generation. Last year’s weather had a disastrous impact on the farming community and the National Farmers Union (NFU) estimated £600 million worth of crops were lost. For many farmers, a good Harvest in 2013 is vital for their financial recovery. Viewers will see, first-hand, the struggle growers’ face as they gamble their future on their knowledge of nature.

The Harvest series will be supported by BBC Learning who are producing a free Harvest resource booklet that will explain the science behind producing UK crops and feature practical recipes using harvest produce. The booklet will be available online and at events run by partners such as farms, orchards and food growing projects – details of which will be listed on the bbc.co.uk/thingstodo website near to the time of broadcast. There will also be a series of short films illustrating the science underpinning modern farming, which will be available for use in schools.

Channel: BBC2

Producer: BBC

TX: Autumn 2013

Source: BBC press release

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