Our Kitchen Gardens
From the moment the pub opened under Grizedale Arts’ ownership in 2021, we sourced our fresh produce as locally as possible, using independent greengrocers and surplus from keen gardeners nearby. We believe in keeping food miles low, and in our kitchen we produce dishes that centre on the fantastic seasonal flavours of just-picked herbs, vegetables and fruit.
The obvious next step was to begin growing our own, so in early 2022 a team of Grizedale Arts volunteers helped transform the pub’s soggy lawn into a veg plot, and throughout the season experienced vegetable grower Karen Guthrie (Grizedale Arts’ Head Gardener at Lawson Park) maintained a small supply of salads, herbs, root vegetables and edible flowers. We also planted some soft fruit along our workshop wall and have been impressed with the harvests in such a short space of time already.
In early 2023 our ambitions grew, and so we built two further vegetable beds in The Farmer’s Fields, again with Grizedale Arts residential volunteers who were keen to learn about establishing sustainable and chemical-free food growing plots. Amounting to about 80 square metres of growing space, these attractive, plant-packed beds near the beer garden can be enjoyed by customers stretching their legs or enjoying a pint in our fields. We have also made a new Herb Garden which includes many varieties of culinary mint for use in our kitchens and bar. These include Japanese mint (recommended to us by Michelin-starred Simon Rogan’s Head Grower at his local farm), ginger mint, orange mint and chocolate mint. We also grow basil, Asian herbs such as garlic chives and shiso, parsley and lemon verbena, the best herbal tea of all.
In 2023 we recruited our Head of Veg, Matt Turnbull, to develop these areas and keep our kitchens well supplied with produce for as long a season as possible. Matt – originally from east Yorkshire – comes from a market gardening background, and has a wide range of experience in sustainable food growing. Working in our kitchens too gives Matt an insight into his produce’s journey from field to plate, and he has also begun an ambitious trial growing around a hundred pumpkins and squashes in one of our other fields. In other garden areas around the pub Matt makes use of warm microclimates to grow tomatoes and chillies, and he’s managed to find a few other local growing spaces to use too. We have plans for a poultry area soon too: Coronation Chickens, supported by the National Lottery’s fund marking King Charles’ ascent to the throne.
All our gardens at the pub are gardened using ‘no-dig’ principals, with organic mulches to keep weeds and pests down. No chemicals are used on or around our fresh produce. Participants in our monthly Gardening School also help to maintain these gardens and to harvest produce when needed.