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April 2, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

What’s Apley Walled Gardens producing in April ?

2014-03-30, Faures & Halls, Apley (13)Phil Allen, Apley Walled Garden Head Gardener is supplying Apley Farm Shop this month with Bulls Blood beetroot, purple sprouting broccoli, as well as 3 varieties of radish (Tarzan, Red Meat & White Icicle) & 2 varieties of spring onions (Blood Red & White Lisbon). A lot of lettuces are used in the Creamery Café, so this month he’ll will be supplying 6 varieties – Mixed, Great Lakes, Saladin, Lolla Rossa, Salad bowl red, Little Gem.

Over the last 12 months, the Walled Garden as been cleared of almost all un-wanted growth. Last year Phil Allen grew on 3 beds, measuring 30ft x 80ft. This year, he’s growing on 16 beds measuring 30ft x 80ft (10) and 30ft x 60ft (6). In order to maintain & to continue to make preparation’s for on-going sowing, we’re now looking at buying a cultivator. Neither too big to lift into the back of Phil’s vehicle, nor too small to do the job …

Phil’s off to the University of Wolverhampton this week, to participate in their Green Week, as we are one of their suppliers. Their Kitchen Manager Mark will look at ways of using whichever vegetables Phil can has available – the choice is still quite limited in April. They want the students to have some free tasters of vegetables they perhaps have not tried before. The week of events, which began yesterday, is held across the campus to promote sustainability & carbon reduction. Phil will also be answering students’ about growing fruit & vegetables. I’ve just had some feedback from Derek Maxfield, the Catering Manager, about sausages supplied by Apley’s butcher Mark Lowe: we served the first delivery of sausages (pork & black pepper sausages) today & the feedback was excellent !”

There was a Walled Garden Open Tour this morning – next one is Tuesday 6 May (meet at the Shop at 10am). You can book online at!tour-booking/c14j7 or just turn up at the Farm Shop at 10am where Phil will meet you & escort you to the Gardens in shared cars.

I was in Apley Park on Sunday with our children & friends, riding our ponies, & snapped these cows with their calves near the gates of the Walled Gardens. On our way home through the woods, we heard the noisiest woodpeckers ever & smelt the wild garlic, which I’ve brought back to London to add to fresh salads. A tenant was digging up mole hills & told me it was the best soil for carrots !

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