Growing grapes is just a part of what we do. We also breed rare breed poultry – specialising in large Buff and Gold Laced Orpington chickens, Silver Appleyard and Cayuga ducks and very rare West of England geese.
We grow our own vegetables and have planted over 50 fruit trees since moving in, now harvesting over twenty different types of fruit and nut annually – from the semi-exotic such as peaches, figs and almonds to the traditional Kentish fare of apples, pears and cob nuts. We also enjoy fruit that can’t be bought in the shops like mulberries and medlars.
Our bees support the vital pollination of most of our fruit – although vines are wind pollinated – and also allow us to harvest their honey and wax for candles and polish.
We’ve produced our own apple juice for several years but we’re now experimenting with cider and beer too – as well as a ‘garage’ red from excess Pinot Noir grapes. The challenge of fitting hop frames into the landscape is our latest project.
Add in a dog, cats, rabbits, lizards, hamsters and a few free range children and life is rarely quiet unless you’re messing around in a ‘boat’.