Asthall Manor Kitchen Garden
“Some For the Birds, Some for the Bugs and Some for Us”
Here in the kitchen garden we are growing healthy, wildlife-friendly and people-friendly food using Organic methods and Permaculture principles.
We grow for a small, local box scheme, for local chefs and for the Manor kitchen.
We do all this while also providing a mixture of wild habitats such as ponds, log piles, flowering weeds, seed heads and uncut margins for beneficial creatures to feed, hunt, sleep, bask, breed and hibernate in.
Come and join in to learn food-growing skills and learn all about the wildlife that supports our crops, brings balance to a healthy soil and creates a thriving local ecosystem.
We offer fun and informative training through courses and volunteering opportunities. Complete beginners through to keen amateurs all welcome.
The Kitchen Garden is being developed and overseen by Tim Mitchell, a City & Guilds Level 2 qualified Organic food grower with 9 years of experience. He is also qualified to teach in the adult learning sector and has previously taught both Level 1 and Level 2 food growing at Organiclea, a 12-acre community and production Organic certified market garden designed and operated along permaculture, consensus and cooperative principles.
Kitchen Garden Courses
To see what courses we are currently offering, see the Asthall Manor ‘What’s On’ page, here.
Occasional Kitchen Garden Newsletter and Course Notifications
If you would like to be notified when new courses become available, hear our news and get a few growing tips then do sign up to receive our occasional newsletters.
Sign up here
You can also see what we’ve been up to by following us on Instagram:
Asthall Crop Share – our micro box scheme
Finding a fair, resilient and sustainable way to grow local, healthy food is of great importance in these times of increasing social and environmental disruption. We are committed to developing a model that provides nutritious and affordable food to local residents, while also allowing people greater access to land and food-growing knowledge along with the physical, social and psychological benefits these bring.
Achieving this also requires giving due respect to, sharing the space with, and nurturing the tapestry of beneficial microbes, plants, insects and animals that support and bring balance to a healthy and thriving local ecosystem. We do this by using Organic methods and by following Permaculture Ethics and Principles.
Asthall Crop Share is a small-scale hyper-local version of the ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ model originally developed in post-World War Two Japan. Customers commit to supporting us with a fixed monthly or annual payment, in return receiving a share of each week’s fresh harvest, including the rewards of the bountiful annual crop gluts while also sharing the risks of any seasonal dearth or crop failures. This direct relationship offers a net good deal to our customers and offers stability to us, the Asthall Crop Share growers.
We are currently providing ten weekly ‘Crop Shares’ to local customers, for collection from the kitchen garden. We are looking to expand this offer, as we develop both our and the land’s capacity.
Each share currently costs a flat £7 per week for which we growers aim to provide a minimum of:
– 200g of ultra-fresh and diverse mixed leaf salad consisting of upwards of 40 different nutritious and seasonal edible leaves and flowers.
– Three to four (or more during peak season) other seasonal vegetable crops. Since starting in June 2021 these have consisted of a selection of crops from the following harvests: tomatoes, rainbow and Swiss chard, beetroot, chillies, sweet peppers, courgettes, winter squash, garlic, potatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, sweetcorn, Jerusalem artichokes, fennel, kale, apples, pears, plums, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blueberries, gooseberries, rhubarb, spring onions, stir-fry greens, leeks, herbs, Calabrese broccoli, purple sprouting broccoli, kohlrabi, radishes, broad beans, french beans and peas. We’re always adding more variety!
If you live in Asthall or the surrounding villages and would like to be added to the waiting list please email [email protected] with your contact details and we’ll be in touch.
Together, perhaps we can build a healthier and happier food system.
If you’d like to come and volunteer with us in the kitchen garden, we’d love to host you! Volunteering is a great way to learn about food growing and the wildlife that supports it. You don’t need any prior food growing knowledge to join us. We’ll provide you with tools, gloves and all the training you’ll need. Just be sure to wear sensible footwear and dress for the weather.
If you’d like to come along and try your hand at volunteering with us, then don’t hesitate to email us in advance at [email protected] giving an indication of days and times that would work for you for an initial visit.
You don’t have to volunteer for a whole day.
You could do a morning or an afternoon and we’ll provide you with a cup of tea and biscuits.
If you’d like to join us for the whole day from 10:30am – 4:30pm then we can provide a vegetarian or vegan lunch, too.
Tasks will be fun, varied, sociable and informative and will always be tailored to your ability or capacity.
We look forward to meeting you in the kitchen garden.
Photo: © Tim Mitchell