Our Kitchen Garden
When Dan spotted the Cherry Tree Inn was for sale in 2017, it was the plot of land to the side of the pub which was one of the most appealing assets, along with the potential of the pub that could be realised.
Once he moved in in March 2018, there was plenty to do with the interior of the pub, B&B rooms, kitchen and beer garden, but there was always an itch to turn the near ½ acre plot, hidden for years by a 10 ft tall conifer hedge, into something interesting, and with green fingers and a kitchen to supply, the veg garden started to take shape early 2019.
Along came ‘Friend of the Pub’ and cider-drinking aficionado Jerry and his digger, lots of reclaimed wood from old picnic benches from a nearby derelict pub, old decking and pallets.
We adopted the ‘No Dig’ method where the raised beds were lined with cardboard, covered with garden waste, then topped out with organic compost and topsoil. This process allows worms and insects to naturally break down the waste, pulling it down to create a healthy soil structure while protecting nature.
During the first lockdown we built the polytunnel, where we grow chillies, melons, cucumbers and tomatoes for the kitchen. We aren’t certified organic, but we practice organic gardening preferring elbow grease, sun, good soil and water.
In 2022 we finally introduced our own bees. We have two hives, which are located close to the kitchen garden, housing some 15,000 or more bees. This same year we achieved a small yield of 19 jars of honey, but this is improving year by year while the garden benefits from cross-pollination. The bees particularly enjoy the vast quantities of borage, with the little blue flowers offering up plenty of nectar, and we feel this helps the flavour profile of our honey to boot.