April traditionally heralds the start of the Asparagus cutting season for us on the farm. Although with maintenance and other preparations it's more of a 12 month cycle as the crop certainly won't grow itself!
We have been commercially growing our Sussex Asparagus now since 1998 when the decision to try and cultivate the crop was taken. Mr Douglas conceived the idea after he and Mrs Douglas discovered the culinary joy of Asparagus in the early 90's.
Mr Douglas would take South Brockwells sheep to market in Biddenden (Kent) and in the nearby village of Frittenden he came across a 'farmgate' Asparagus grower in Peter Whappam who invited him in for tea and a chat, he ended up becoming a great friend and advisory whom firmly instilled the idea of the Douglas family trying to establish their own Asparagus beds.
April traditionally heralds the start of Asparagus cutting season for us on the farm....
Nothing ever is, nor should be easy....
We earmarked land that we had used for our Beef Suckler heard that were not proving to be financially viable for us and set about planting the original bed with baby Asparagus plug pants at a rate of 10,000/acre . These we nearly lost in the first year due to weed invasion!
Over time we have adapted and we now renew our beds with 'Male' hybrid asparagus crowns sourced from Holland. Nothing ever is, nor should be easy but although it's a delicate labour intensive crop #Asparagus really is the King of vegetables, the first ready in the spring and when supremely 'fresh' it's highly sought after - and rightly so....
Three generations of Asparagus farmers
As with everything across our working landscape - it's a family affair! Usually come April we have a willing band of locally sourced labour (you know -family and friends) . To help cut the asparagus crop early in the morning (usually on a daily basis). We then get it washed , sorted and bundled up back on the farm for sale in the South Brockwells Farm . However as with so many things this year, amidst the unprecedented times we find ourselves living in due to the Covid-19 p andemic. There are strict precautions in place with regards to 'social distancing and time spent outside - Asparagus cutting truly has become a family affair for us!
We sell around 60% of our crop directly to the public through our seasonal shop and the remaining 40% goes to renowned local eateries.
Shop local and back British farmers....
So we invite new customers and old alike to come along and support British farmers and shop local at South Brockwells Farm during our Asparagus season (April -June ) you'll find bundles of our delicious freshly cut Asparagus available Tuesday - Saturday (10 am - 2 pm) . Along with a good selection of daily essentials (fresh milk, eggs, award winning cheeses, and plentiful fruit and veg) all of which is locally sourced.
As you would and should expect we are adhering to and respecting the social distancing procedures so it's one in - one out in our Seasonal Farm Shop but in a clean (regularly cleaned down and disinfected) friendly and relaxed atmosphere!
We look forward to welcoming you soon!