I really want you to know that the whole time I am writing this post, I am having to exercise some pretty serious self-restraint to not pun about apples. It’s overdone, passé and we all know the Doctor Avoidance Tactic 101 and the fact that I find you very apeeling. It’s infantile and surely the lowest form of wit. Having said that, let’s get to the core of it (#sorrynotsorry) and get onto the reputable and talented farmers, floggers and juicers, Chegworth Valley – where this weeks spotlight shines onto.
You may have seen them before at Borough Market where they have been showcasing their goods for years. Their shop is packed full of wooden buckets of apples and pears and shelves of other fresh veggie goodies, all naturally grown in their Kent farm. At their stalls in Farmers Markets, they’re instantly distinguishable by their cloudy apple and pear bottled juices which adorn tables shoulder to shoulder like a pastel rainbow. Individual portions pre-cupped are available at Borough, flavours and blends according to the season – as to be expected. They press using all of the apple, filter a little to separate out the pips and stalks (aka pomace to the fancy apple educated out there). It’s important to Chegworth Valley to not over filter as they feel that cloudy, pure juices have a stronger natural flavour and better health benefits than juices that have been over processed. They then take the pomace and recycle that back into the ground like a form of compost – think of a farming circle of life, with fewer lions and kings.
Having moved away from supplying homogenous and invariable soft fruits, apples and pears to the big supermarket chains, they boldly (especially at the time over twenty five years ago!) decided to change tactics: become an organic and soil associated certified farm and sell direct to customer through farmers markets, independent retailing middle men and nowadays a veg/fruit box scheme. They practise artisan farming and now specialise in growing rare, British varieties which are epitomised in their single variety or blend juices. I don’t mean to bang on about their juices, as each fruit is hand picked at prime ripening and is great for a one handed chomp, but not much can beat this liquid gold in the morning.
Chegworth Valley is one of the most amazing farms celebrating British born and grown produce. As much as provenance, seasonality and locality have graduated from being former years’ buzzwords to straight up ways of life, arguably (and not much of an argument to be had at that!) Chegworth Valley has helped to carve this trend in London food and markets today.
Apples and pears are underrated fruits and are so incredibly versatile when it comes to incorporating them into cooking and baking. By all means, channel your inner Snow White and crunch on a non-poisonous apple, but there is more jazz in your life to be had too. If you fancy knowing the difference between a Bramley (tangy and sharp) and Russet (naturally sugary sweet) and other counsel, go and chat to the Chegworth Valley crew – they happen to know more than a thing or two.
|Monday||8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|Tuesday||8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday||8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|Thursday||8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|Friday||8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|Saturday||8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
Chegworth Valley have a Farm Shop in Notting Hill too, but the above details are on their Borough Market shop.