Two local businesses have teamed up to offer the perfect day out for any would-be gardeners.
A new season of herb farm open days will take place at Jekka McVicar’s nursery in Alveston, South Gloucestershire, starting this weekend. Jekka’s Herb Farm is usually closed to the public so the open days are a unique opportunity for visitors to browse the 600 plus varieties of organic herbs that Jekka grows…
Chelsea Gold award-winner Jekka was pleased to find a local catering company that could provide fantastic seasonal food at the open days to keep the plant buyers refreshed. “They offered me not just a solution, but a creative concept that would make our visitors happy,” said Jekka.
Cam-based company Berry Blue Creative Food will be running a café/bistro at the farm open days to offer visitors not only the chance to buy the herbs but to taste them as well. There will be a brunch menu, bistro lunch and afternoon teas, as well as coffee, teas and cakes available all day. Louise Brown, owner of Berry Blue, said: “We are so pleased to be working with Jekka McVicar, as she is a very respected herb grower and is passionate about good food. We’ve tried to create unusual and creative dishes to inspire people to use herbs in their food, not just as plants for the garden.”
Visitors can expect to see dishes such as tartlet of wild mushroom and thyme served with Jekka’s Provencal salad mix, beef kofta tagine with Jekka’s bergamot and cous-cous salad, pitta bread, mint and yoghurt dip or lemon and rosemary posset with rosemary shortbread. Or for afternoon tea there will be a range of cakes, scones and canapés such as damson and oat slice or blackcurrant, cinnamon and almond cake.
Jekka will be holding workshops at each open weekend on subjects ranging from raising herbs from seed to growing them in containers and taking cuttings.There will also be two tours of the farm each day where you can pick up some top tips from Jekka.
The first open weekend takes place this weekend between Friday and Sunday. Friday is free entry, with Saturday and Sunday costing only £2 to enter. Free farm tours with Jekka will take place at 10.30am and 2.30pm, but workshops must be pre-paid and booked via the website. While you’re on the website, you can also download a voucher for a free packet of seeds, and find the full list of open days which run until September.
*please note that, due to limited power supply on the farm, Berry Blue cannot accept cards in the cafe – payment by cash or cheque with bankers card only*