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Wednesday, 12 April, 2000, 20:21 GMT 21:21 UK
Feng Shui tomatoes force resignations
woman and tomatoes
Feng Shui experts visited UK glasshouses
Two committed Christians resigned from their jobs as tomato growers, rather than see the ancient art of Feng Shui applied to their plants.



I know that many people are sceptical about Feng Shui, but we had no idea it would upset anyone

British Tomato Growers' Association
Baptists Martin Kelly, 45, and his 20-year-old son Paul-Martin Kelly, of Sandown, Isle of Wight, said introducing Feng Shui to boost the harvest clashed with their religious beliefs.

And they resigned from Arreton Valley Nursery on the Isle of Wight as "a matter of principle".

Martin said: "I'm not working for a farm that openly claims it relies on a power other than God.

"It put me in conflict with my faith. I would not be able to sleep at night."

'Serious problem'

A spokesman for the British Tomato Growers' Association, which last year introduced rock 'n' roll music to boost their plants, said: "We are extremely surprised when this happened.

"I know that many people are sceptical about Feng Shui, but we had no idea it would upset anyone.

"We have a very serious problem facing our industry, with the livelihood of many growers threatened by the continuing strength of sterling and the resultant flood of cheap, long-life imported tomatoes."

A team of experts skilled in the Chinese art visited glasshouses across the country, advising on the siting of the hives for the 2.5 million bumblebees imported from Belgium and Holland to pollinate the British crop.

In the Far East, companies have traditionally used Feng Shui practitioners to advise on every aspect of their operations, from the siting and design of a new building to remedies for ailing businesses.

Its use in Britain is growing steadily, but its introduction into British tomato growing glasshouses is a first for both the growers and the practitioners.

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