Last Saturday, I bought some tasty tomatoes in Tesco. On the packet it said they had been grown in Kent. I paid a visit to the 'farm' and discovered it was called Thanet Earth, situated on 220 acres of prime farmland overlooking the beautiful village of Minster and the beaches of Sandwich Bay.
There aren't any fields at Thanet Earth, just an enormous box, the largest greenhouse in the UK, the size of ten football pitches. The lights are on all night, and inside are growing millions and millions of tomatoes.
At the moment, the site is not complete - there are a handful of these enormous greenhouses growing strawberries, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and salad ingredients, but by this summer, there will be seven. It's larger than an airfield.
How on earth did Thanet Earth get past the local planners? Because they promised employment. For the sake of just 550 jobs, a piece of Kent the size of 80 football pitches has been obliterated by these monstrosities.
OK, they recycle their own water and are energy efficient, and my tomatoes only travelled ten miles, but they've been grown in an environment more like Mars than Margate, fed hydroponically with nutrient enriched water, under lights switched on and off by computer.
And as we now know, not even 550 Thanet jobs Janet! But Ms Street Porter, who lives up the road in Whitstable and has been spotted noshing in Ramsgate restaurants, is mainly exercised by the new Waitrose TV campaign starring Delia Smith and Bloomin' Hestenthal, whom she describes as the Eric and Ernie of TV cookery. I too have a beef about our local Waitrose. Arriving near to closing time the other day, I was confronted by this:
I duly did. And then the blasted thing shut! Kuh!