Mostyn Kitchen Garden
PRODUCER: Mostyn Kitchen Garden, Flintshire
PRODUCT: Raspberry Jam
CATEGORY: From the Earth (Artisan)
WHAT THEY DO
What started as the restoration of an 18th century walled kitchen garden at Mostyn Hall has grown into an independent social enterprise. Managed by Philip and Debbie Handley, the two and a half acres of beds and the large glasshouse have been transformed by the community, and this year will be in full production growing a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Schools, voluntary groups, local businesses and individuals have been given the opportunity to discover their green fingers and get their hands dirty with tasks to suit all abilities – from gentle weeding, seed sowing, watering and pruning, to harvesting and heavy digging. Special workshops have been put on too, including jam making and dry-stone walling.
The project hopes that members of the community will gain new skills and be educated about producing organic food, while enjoying exercise and socialising outdoors. Philip and Debbie also work to make the garden a sustainable and biodiverse example to visitors fertilising the earth with ex-battery hens and a compost heap supplied by a local restaurant and pollinating plants with the garden’s own beehive.
Through building these relationships, Philip and Debbie aim to “ensure that there is a good quality supply of local food to cater for everyone’s purse and taste”. The garden’s produce is delivered direct to families, food co-operatives and local restaurants, and what’s left is turned into a range of 14 jams, pickles and chutneys. These are all produced by hand in the team’s newly converted kitchen to organic principles, with main ingredients being seasonal items grown and picked metres away.
Mostyn Kitchen Garden’s Raspberry Jam is an extra jam, meaning it has a high fruit content of 74g fruit per 100g. Available directly or from local outlets, the team describe the jam as a “quality, accessible local product”.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
Mostyn Kitchen Garden’s “undoubted” passion earned them a place on the shortlist, with the panel being impressed by the commitment shown to a project that grows and produces local fare while benefitting the community as a social enterprise. The organic and seasonal principles adhered to were also praised.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: mostynestates.co.uk