Roots to Fruit have two main business models; one being a social enterprise the other being a social farm. Our intention is to provide alternative education facilities and accredited training for a range of different students. We strive to provide horticultural activities to a high standard in order for our trainees to find purposeful activities that will improve health, well being and economic prospects. The social enterprise is about trainees and volunteers gaining accredited industry recognised qualifications while working on a real plant nursery producing plants, crops and gardening products. These will be sold to produce revenue that can help develop the facilities and prolong the services that Roots to Fruit are offering.
Who is Jonathan Ensell?
Jonathan Ensell is the founding Company Director and Secretary of Roots to Fruit Midlands Ltd, a social enterprise established alongside the family business Oakdene Nursery. Previous to Roots to Fruit Jonathan Ensell was a company director of a Landscape Design and Build company called Oakleaf Landscapes Ltd. for 9 years. He helped to design and build an award winning community garden and won national recognition from the British Association of Landscape Industries
He has also lectured at colleges and offender institutions since 2006.
“My intention is that as many people as possible use the facilities, become passionate about horticulture find a great career path and at the same time be a part of planning, developing and maintaining the wonderful facility we have in Oakdene Nurseries”. Jonathan Ensell (Director of Roots to Fruit Midlands Limited).
Jonathan has received a Medal of High Commendation from City and Guilds for the high quality training and management of practical horticultural courses he has run in various prisons. From the Medal of High Commendation came an invitation from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners to receive an award from Princess Ann at Buckingham Palace. This led to an invitation to attend lunch with Her Majesty the Queen during the diamond jubilee celebrations; this involved media interviews from the BBC on both television and radio.
Who are Oakdene Nurseries?
History: The site of Oakdene Nurseries has been in the family since the 1930s when Oscar Britzeus left Germany to purchase a plot of mature oak woodland to establish a poultry and pig small holding on. Phil Ensell (son- in -law of Oscar deceased 2007) established a plant nursery just after World War II growing bedding plants and tomatoes in the pre- supermarket days. Paul Ensell (son of Phil Ensell) came into the business in the early 60s and is the present owner and manager of the business.
Oakdene Nurseries focused its attention away from wholesale customers and opened its doors to the general public. They still sell to wholesale customers such as gardeners and florists but they now supply mostly to the public and have much wider range of stock from bedding, to vegetable plants, to containerised trees, shrubs and perennials. They still produce their own peat-free compost made from recycled organic waste mixed and blended to suit a variety of garden uses.
Environment and Sustainable Development Ethos
Roots to Fruit Midlands Ltd recognises that its operations have an effect on the local, regional and global environment. Our whole approach is to bring about change in society, in communities, in groups and in individuals and this should include positive change around any impact we have on environmental issues. As a consequence, Roots to Fruit Midlands Ltd is committed to continuous improvements in environmental performance and the prevention of pollution.
At Roots to Fruit we:
We save money and natural resources and reduce landfill by: