Hooters Hall

Sissinghurst smallholder show

This weekend it’s the first ever smallholder show at Sissinghurst castle and gardens. Sissinghurst is a National trust property in Kent near Cranbrook. The famous gardens were developed by Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson around the surviving parts of an Elizabethan mansion. We didn’t get chance to check out the gardens but hopefully we’ll be back to visit in the future. We did get to have a good look around the vegetable garden and polytunnels that supply the restaurant on the site and they were very impressive. Although there are some full time gardeners employed by at Sissinghurst a army of volunteers make sure the veg patch is successful and the restaurant kept well supplied with tasty organic produce. There is also a working farm on the site and we tried out some of their very tasty Sussex beef.

The show itself was quite small although they did have a programme of talks including Monty Don and Sarah Raven. Kent smallholders were there and there were a lot of plant stalls (I picked up some herbs for my new herb bed and some box (Buxus sempervirens). Chris got some cheese making supplies from goat nutrition limited, here’s their link http://home.btconnect.com/gnltd/shop/index.htm and we had some very tasty ice cream from Taywell ice cream.

It was an enjoyable day, despite the rain, but hopefully there will be more smallholders and more livestock there in the future. On the way back we popped in to the Taywell farm shop and picked up a very tasty sponge cake as well as some steaks and veg. It a decent farm shop although there wasn’t a wide selection of meat. They are the same people who make the Taywell icecream that we got at the fair. This is the link to the website http://www.taywell.co.uk/farm-stores.html.

Here’s some pics from Sissinghurst including some of the vegetable garden and polytunnels.

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