Monday, May 14, 2012

Press Release. North Devon Journal

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Growers of Vegetables,
Foliage and Flowers


For the attention of Rosanna Rothery, North Devon Journal, 3.5.12
Green Garlic puts North Devon on the Gourmet Food Map

A North Devon commercial grower is putting the region on the specialist food map with a product highly prized by food gourmets but rarely produced in the UK. RADLEY CROSS MARKET GARDEN, near South Molton, is the largest grower of ‘green garlic’ in the South West, and one of just a handful of suppliers in the UK. The green garlic, also known as ‘wet garlic’, will be in season in a few weeks’ time, and within days will be distributed throughout the South West by wholesaler Bristol Fruit Sales under its Growfair brand. Some of the RADLEY CROSS green garlic will also be destined for New Covent Garden, from there finding its way to top delicatessens and restaurants in London.
Green Garlic has a very short season, like asparagus, and is not widely known about in the UK,” explains Ant Pelly, who runs RADLEY CROSS MARKET GARDEN with his wife Penny. “Our garlic is grown outdoors, and it is harvested when it is very young, before the bulb has divided into separate cloves. It is delicious, and extremely good for you!”
Green garlic is not an obvious choice for a UK vegetable grower, but Ant never shies away from a challenge. “We were on a visit to Covent Garden and we saw some imported green garlic from Egypt. It was small and unappetising, and that started me wondering if I could do better. It’s not really a UK crop at all, it’s a Mediterranean crop, but I liked the idea of growing it here. I do have a tendency to think, ‘what can I do that looks reasonably impossible?’ Then I’ll do it! It’s a crazy idea, but great fun.”
And there’s no doubt that Ant has succeeded with his ‘crazy idea’. He’s a man with the greenest of green fingers, combined with widespread horticultural expertise and a farming ethos based on sustainability. His land near Bishops Nympton is well suited to the green garlic crop, with south facing slopes, plenty of rain and free draining clay loam. “We work hard to prepare the soil over many months, using green manure crops and organic matter,” says Ant. “The end result is that my green garlic is bigger, fatter and juicier than the overseas green garlic. It is also entirely chemical free.” Cont.

Tel. 01769 550639 Radley Cross Market Garden, East Radley, Bishops Nympton, South Molton, EX36 4PB

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Press release - Green garlic puts North Devon on the gourmet food map. Cont.

Ant has long experience as a garlic grower, being previously based in Northumberland. Here he specialised in the better known dried garlic, and ran the wonderfully named Snods Edge Garlic Festival, which offered everything from garlic beer to garlic ice cream. He has only recently started producing green garlic, after moving to North Devon 3 years ago.
The annual green garlic crop is keenly awaited by top UK chefs, including North Devon’s Mark Dodson, chef at the award winning one star Michelin restaurant at the Masons Arms in Knowstone. “We always look forward to the green garlic season and try to make the most of it. Green garlic has a beautiful taste, it is a subtle flavour, and much less pungent than dried garlic. You can just cut the whole bulb in half and roast it with a joint, or combine it with fish or light meats. Green garlic is not available in supermarkets so it tends to get overlooked but it is a fabulous product. We’ll be using the RADLEY CROSS green garlic as soon as it is ready.”
Ant’s green garlic is available at two farm shops in North Devon. “We put it in our veg boxes and we always get good feedback,” says Rob Cooper, Partner at Orchards Farm Shop based at St John ‘s Garden Centre in Barnstaple. “It is something different and we put a leaflet in explaining how to use green garlic. It is a real bonus to have someone growing it locally and it’s nice to support a local business. People are not really aware of green garlic, so when the season starts, we like to really shout about it!”
Ted Bath, owner of Witheridge Farm Shop, is a huge fan of Ant’s green garlic. “I love it because it is local, but I sell it because it is good! In fact it is stunning. A lot of my customers are cooks and they look forward to it. When it’s in and it’s on the shelf, it is snapped up. For me, it’s a treat and it heralds the start of the summer. It has that Mediterranean feel to it. You can almost taste the sunshine. All you need is some asparagus, new potatoes, early tomatoes and Ant’s green garlic and you’re in heaven! ”

Editors’ notes
  1. Attached photos of Ant and Penny Pelly, green garlic growing, green garlic picked, Chef Mark Dobson at work, Mason’s Arms in Knowstone.
  2. Radley Cross Market Garden also grows Charlotte Potatoes and Pink Fir Apple Potatoes, Pink Jerusalem Artichokes, a variety of squashes, dried garlic and hot smoked garlic and a selection of flowers.
  3. For more information see
  4. Radley Cross Market Garden is a member of LEAF, Linking Environment And Farming.
  5. For more information contact Ant Pelly on 01769 550639 or 07841 701244. Or email Ant at: radleyxmarketgarden
  6. Press release issued by ND Media.

Tel. 01769 550639 Radley Cross Market Garden, East Radley, Bishops Nympton, South Molton, EX36 4PB

Monday, May 7, 2012

 Green Garlic 6th May

This will be sold as green garlic in 3 to 4 weeks time. Currently it looks very good and the bulb should start to swell shortly giving us the big fat juicy green garlic that we love so much. Every 10 days we give it a dose of seaweed solution which corrects any trace element deficiencies. It is a great foliar feed for just about anything and is a natural product.
Poor Caroline!!

A small break in the weather saw us out planting Statice on the bank Holiday weekend in the freezing cold ( for May ) . Caroline came to stay for a nice relaxing weekend in the country !