Kim is a proper grafter, working from dawn to dusk growing produce to sell on her stall. The problem I have is I forget it’s there and drive past the turnoff, and I suspect many others do, too.
A massive sign on the A39 would be wonderful but there is probably a law against it.
Also, I pointed out I rarely have cash in my pocket, living in a card economy. Kim tells me that if people don’t have cash for the honesty box, they can pay by BACS (contact her for details). So now there really is no excuse (parking is easy there, too).
So, I’m re-running an article written last summer about All the Ps in the hope that others (and me) will use it more.
Today, Kim has available:
On the Veg stall: Rhubarb Plus Carrots, Parsnips, Chard, Cabbage, Celery, Cauliflowers, Broccoli, Kale, Swede, and Spuds.
CUT FLOWERS FOR EASTER:- Tulips £2.25, Arrangements from £10, Hand Tie Bouquet £15
PLANTS:- going out for the first time today Senetti, soooooo pretty. Stocks, Scented Viola, Million Bels Hydrangea £4.50, Pinks (Sugar Plum, Passion, Slap’n’Tickle, Passion) £1.95, Alpines £1.85, includes Armenia, Potentilla “Nana” , Heliantheym “Ben Fhada”, Braunherz, Lithodora “Grace Ward”, Phlox “Emerald Cushion”, Campanula “Dickson’s Gold”, Dianthus “Kahori” £1.95, . Salvia “Hot Lips” £4.95, Osteosperum (various colours) £4.25, Scabiosa £4.95 . Argyrenthimum £4.25, Armenia “Ballerina Red”, £3.95. Kangaroo Paws £9.50, Cordylines £14.50. Geum , Bergenia, Catananche, Helenium, Alchemilla Mollis, Lupin, Gypsophila, Salvia, Crocosmia, Aster, Achillea, Delphiniums, Gaillardia, Fox Glove ALL £2.75 each or 4 for £10! Asiatic Lily corms and Bedding Dahlia tubers £2.25 per packet. Aquilegia £4.50, Spring Fever Mixed Poppies £4.25, Sweet Peas £1.25 per pot,
GROUND COVER:- Aubretia, Cerastiun, Saxifraga, Campanula, Lepitinella, ALL £1.85. Renuncula £2.75, Pelargonium £2.75, Succulents £4.50, herbs £1.85, Anemone £2.50, Hollyhock £3, Lillies £2 per pot, Pinks £3, Penstemon £3, small geranium £2, Fuchsia £2, Lily if The Valley £1, Liatris £3.50 Aconitum £3.50.
VEG AND FRUIT PLANTS -Strawberry plants £1, SWEETCORN £1.50, Beetroot £1. Herbs £1.85. Tomatoes (various varieties) £1.25, Lollo Rosso £2, Cucumber £1.75 and Courgettes £1.50 Cauliflower £3.50, Cabbage £3.50, Kale £3.50
BEDDING:- £2.75 per tray or 4 trays for £10.
Here’s the article:
One thing people discuss a great deal in Bude is the environment, including plastic packaging, food air miles and provenance. But are we all just talk when it comes to food? Despite not liking their plastic packaging or the sometimes bland taste of the food, do we still go to supermarkets because we think they are cheaper?
Well, there’s no need to patronise supermarkets for vegetables and flowers any more, as we have All the Ps right on our doorstep in Stratton. Many of you know Kim who started her market garden enterprise with a friend, Liz, in April 2018. The produce here is about as natural as it can be – even the manure comes from a local farm. Vegetables are seasonal, putting us back in touch with eating naturally, eating what grows at particular times.
The business idea started when Kim grew leeks and had too many so put some out for people to take. They tasted grand, very different to shop bought, so Kim received lots of compliments and people suggested she started to sell her vegetables. Her stall is down at the bottom of her long driveway, complete with an honesty box. People often leave plastic boxes which she uses to put the veg on display as paper bags get very wet. Bring your own bag to pick and choose or try a vegetable box for £10, £12 or £15, containing whatever is seasonal.
Kim says she is motivated by “the need to pay the rent” but she also loves growing things.
As many of you know, she is married to Allan who unfortunately became ill in June 2014, with Motor Neurone Disease. He was given 6-12 months of life as a prognosis, so they set off on a bucket list of places to visit while Allan could still walk. They completed phase 1 of their list but felt phase 2 was too expensive, as by then he needed full disabled access; they sold their business to focus on their life together. They blitzed inheritance money on things like an imported wheelchair from Australia (£30k) so Allan could still go to the beach and on all terrain. It was vital for him to keep active and mindful and something they have not regretted; now it is loaded up with veg to transport it across the 4.5 acres of gardens. Kim wants to work from home as Allan can’t be left for too long, nor does she want to leave him on his own all day.
Kim and her business partner Liz, a trained florist, pay for help with the heavy work. Liz makes splendid wedding bouquets, and Kim makes jams/chutneys which she sells at Stratton Post Office. She pretty much works an 18 hour day, getting up at 4 am and finishing around 9 pm most days. The produce picking is done first thing so you can’t get fresher. Now she uses Allan’s wheelchair with headlights as the shorter days draw in. When I visited at 10 am, Kim had already picked the day’s produce to sell at the stall, and fed the poultry. She had labelled jams and chutneys made the previous day, then started on more chutney, having had a quick tidy up in the garage where the preserves are stored. After a brief outing with Allan, she had seeds to sew, ducks to clean out, and was making more jam. The next day was devoted to another P, patchwork.
Kim sells her lovely patchwork via Facebook and at craft fairs but sees it as more of a winter activity. She also collected vintage plates for her daughter’s wedding (the garden was the wedding venue) which she now hires out. An 80 places setting of plates, teacups, teapots, etc., costs around £75.
Kim is happy to supply hotels and holiday accommodation with gift baskets for their visitors, but otherwise mainly sells from her stall and through local shops. If anyone is interested in stocking her preserves, please get in touch with her.
People love the taste of fresh, home grown vegetables. There are a few contradictions, though. It seems we like organic and wonky veg from supermarkets but do not seem to buy much really organic wonky stuff from local stalls. Kim has discovered people do not tend to like yellow or unusual vegetables. Some of this is education, as people do not always know what things are. She advised me on how to use celeriac, for example. Golden Gate flat beans were left, probably because people thought they were past their best due to their yellow colour. So, there is education to be done! Kim is also creating a new orchard and fruit cages to offer fruit in future. Rack Farm was a strawberry farm in a previous life, so it is obviously good for soft fruits.
I asked Kim to describe what is so good about her vegetables (incidentally, my daughter noticed the lettuce in her salad tasted particularly good). She says:
It tastes like veg is supposed to taste. It all has flavour and only a few road miles are involved. We are cutting waste, too. While we are more expensive than supermarkets, we are generally cheaper than farm shops. An aubergine, for example, costs 80p (not much for a core ingredient of ratatouille). Our veg boxes are popular as people use their imaginations in thinking about what to cook. So, our educational mission is to inform the palate.
To be fair, it is early days but it is a lot of work for not much profit. However, Kim is proud of her new enterprise, feeling it is creative in a different way to her previous photography. She has learned a lot about plants and cooking and despite being in Cornwall has joined DASH (Devon Association of Smallholders) to learn even more.
Please support this growing (literally) local business.
FROM BUDE – TURN LEFT ONTO A39 GO PAST PLUMBERS MERCHANT AND TAKE NEXT RIGHT TURN (sharp hairpin bend, the old road into top of Stratton) WE ARE FIRST DRIVE ON LEFT.
FROM KILK – GO ON A39 TOWARDS BUDE. GO THROUGH BUSH AND BEFORE YOU GET TO THE PLUMBERS MERCHANT TAKE THE TURNING LEFT (old road into top of Stratton) WE ARE FIRST DRIVE IN THE LEFT.
FROM HOLSWORTHY – Come into Stratton, turn right at Kings Arms, turn right at T junction with The Tree Inn in front of you. Pass the shop and all the houses. Just as you leave the town/village you will pass Dick’s Barn on your left then Elm Park on your right. We are the next property it’s called Rack Park, come up the tarmac drive not the concrete one. Alternatively come up to A39 turn right towards Kilk, just past the Old Garage which is now a Plumbers Merchant turn right (sharp hairpin bend) we are first on the left.