Asthall Manor Kitchen Garden / Asthall Crop Share

Here in the kitchen garden we are growing wildlife-friendly and people-friendly food by organic methods for our fledgling micro box scheme, Asthall Crop Share – “Some for the birds, some for the bugs and some for us.”

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.

None of this can be achieved without 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.

For 2021 we have been trialing ten ‘Crop Shares’ to local customers, for collection from the kitchen garden. We are looking to expand this in 2022 to 20 or more shares.

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, herbs, broad beans, french beans and peas. We’ll be adding more variety next year!

We already have a few people on our waiting list for 2022 but if you live in Asthall or the surround 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.

You can also see what we’ve been up to by following us on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asthallmanorkitchengarden/

Together perhaps we can build a healthier and happier food system.

Volunteering

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 have a look at the Volunteering Days calendar in the link below and then email us in advance at [email protected] saying which volunteer day (and the times) you would like to come to.
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.

If the days or times in the calendar don’t fit your availability but you’d still like to come, then do get in touch anyway and we’ll see what we can do.

We look forward to meeting you in the kitchen garden.

Calendar of Volunteering Days

We’ll add dates one or two months in advance, as the year progresses.