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 the Potting Shed Café, for 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.
***Opportunity: Summer 2023 Kitchen Garden Trainee Volunteer Role***
The summer 2023 traineeship is a chance to develop your food-growing, people and organisational skills while learning all about the wildlife that support our crops, bring balance to a healthy soil and create a thriving local ecosystem.
The traineeship will run full time from May through September.
We are looking for an enthusiastic, practical person with some experience of food growing who is looking to develop their skills as a market gardener in a community setting.
This is voluntary unpaid role but accommodation at the manor, a weekly stipend and food from the garden will be provided.
For more details and how to apply see here:
Summer 2023 Kitchen Garden Trainee Volunteer Role Description and Application Process
Deadline for applications: Monday 17th April
Interview dates: 19th to 21st April (via Zoom)
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 monthly newsletters.
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 the due respect and nurturing of the tapestry of beneficial microbes, plants, insects and animals that support and bring balance to a healthy and thriving local ecosystem.
We are currently trialing a ‘Community Supported Agriculture’ model originally developed in post World War Two Japan, where our customers commit to supporting us over a month / season / year and thus get to share in the rewards of the bountiful annual crop gluts while also sharing the risks of the seasonal dearths or failures. This offers a net good deal to our customers and stability to us, the Asthall Crop Share growers.
We are currently trialing ten weekly ‘Crop Shares’ to local customers, for collection from the kitchen garden. We are looking to expand this offer, later this year.
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.
– Two other seasonal vegetable crops. Since starting in June 2021 these have consisted of a selection of two crops from the following harvests: tomatoes, rainbow chard, beetroot, chillies, courgettes, winter squash, garlic, potatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, sweetcorn, Jerusalem artichokes, apples, raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blueberries, gooseberries, spring onions, stir-fry greens, 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 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.