Little Island Leaves

Little Island Leaves produce sustainable salad leaves and plants to help pollinators and other insects

Jo and Ian started Little Island Leaves just growing a few lettuces in Jo’s family garden! Then in the spring of 2020, they moved to an abandoned nursery and have worked hard to turn it into a small garden centre and market garden. They sell nearly half a tonne of mixed leaf salad, and thousands of plants, each year.

It’s really important that their produce and plants are sustainable and wildlife-friendly. They practice integrated pest management, which for Little Island Leaves means not using any pesticides or herbicides and manage the site to encourage a good diversity of insects. They encourage beneficial predators like hoverflies and parasitic wasps by planting attractive companion plants like Tagetes and Chervil, and only using physical pest control (barriers, diversions and traps) when they are needed. They also minimise our use of plastic by growing our plants in soil blocks and produce as much of their own compost as possible.

LIL also have a special line of plants that are good for pollinators, many of which they have grown themselves. These include Foxgloves, Maiden Pinks and Yarrow, as well as one of our favourites, Liatris spicata, which puts out tall plumes of deep pink flowers. Around the site and growing areas they have sown beetle banks, which contain Red Clover, Phacelia, and Nasturtiums.

LIL are very proud to be helping Alderney Wildlife Trust spread the message about wildlife-friendly gardening. Growing attractive salad and plants sustainably can be difficult, and their customers sometimes have to put up with a few holes in the leaves! Their mission has been received very positively however, with a high proportion of business coming from repeat customers.