Farming

Kitchen Garden

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The Waltham Place Kitchen Garden sits to the south of the walled gardens. Extending to almost an acre, this dynamic garden produces an array of fresh produce throughout the season, yielding a diverse selection of fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Using organic and biodynamic methods our gardeners seek to work with nature to limit damage from pests and plant disease, rather than to control nature using artificial chemical inputs. We believe that healthy crops bare a direct correlation to the health of the soil they are grown in. Traditional techniques, such as crop rotation, companion planting, mulching and composting, all combine to protect and feed the soil and encourage a diverse community of beneficial microbial life. Green manures are used to improve soil fertility and structure, and to prevent leaching over the Winter. The regular use of biodynamic preparations further stimulates and supports the soil food web. Growing conditions in the garden are enhanced by the use of the Biodynamic Growing and Planting Calendar, fine tuning the way we work with root, fruit, leaf and flower crops for added flavour, vigour and storability. In October 2019 we began to reinstate a 4-acre field on the farm into vegetable production. This is a work in progress and will enable us to increase the amount of food we can grow to feed more people.

In the Kitchen Garden the use of open pollinated and heritage seed varieties is key, allowing us to save seed for future years and helping our plants to adapt to the growing conditions here at Waltham. Our aim is to find varieties that thrive in our soils and perform well. The Kitchen Garden also grows crops for seed production, under contract to The Seed Co-operative.

Visitors to the garden will notice immediately the abundance of flowers. In nature we often see great diversity in plant communities, and we aim to recreate this diversity in the Kitchen Garden. Diversity islands of different blooms have been planted between the productive beds, acting as a reservoir for beneficial invertebrates. The juxtaposition of riotous flowers with fruit and vegetables creates a charming picture. By attracting both pollinators and pest controllers to the garden, we maximise on the garden’s relationship with the natural world, allowing bees and butterflies, lacewings and spiders, the latitude to support the growing process in the way nature intended.

The resulting harvest of biodynamic fruit and vegetables can be purchased via our vegetable box scheme or Farm Shop in Summer or ordered online during the closed season. Much of the fruit from the garden is used to make preserves and cordials. In the Autumn, the extensive range of apple trees are harvested and pressed to make our very popular bottled apple juice. We sell only that which we have grown ourselves, in tune with the seasonal nature of British vegetable production. This year the dry, cold Spring has delayed the growing season by a couple of weeks. We hope to have the first vegetable boxes of the new season available from June 2021.

Visit our farm shop

Fresh produce from June through to December

Deliciously different, our biodynamic and organic ethos means that everything you buy will have been produced here at Waltham without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
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