The Kitchen Garden
At the top of The Estate is Combe Grove’s flourishing Kitchen Garden. It is bursting with seasonal ingredients and flavours and is harvested fresh on the day by our hardworking Estate Team. At Combe Grove, we have a ‘field to fork’ philosophy and all produce grown on The Estate aims to enhance holistic health and wellbeing with Combe Grove’s Food Ethos at the heart. Anything that can’t be obtained from The Kitchen Garden is locally sourced to keep our carbon footprint low.
We have a no-dig philosophy in The Kitchen Garden allowing the soil biome to flourish which enables us to grow healthy plants and more nutrient-dense vegetables. Healthy soil makes for a healthy plant, more able to fight off pests and diseases themselves. The nutrition in the soil makes its way into the vegetables and then into us. The no-dig method aims to create a minimal disturbance of the soil allowing that natural processes to be conserved. No dig means adding organic matter to the soil and then letting the worms do the rest of the work. This feeds the microbiome which in turn produces nutrients that inhabit the soil, anticipating the vegetables to take them in. Another benefit of not disturbing the soil is protecting the mycelium, a network of fungi below ground which help the plants to exchange nutrients between themselves. By not exposing the soil, moisture is preserved, reducing the need for watering.
During the summertime, there is also an abundance of colourful flora including towering sunflowers and fragrant sweet peas. We are mindful to include nectar-rich planting for pollinators which aids biodiversity.
A few steps from The Kitchen Garden is the heritage apple Orchard in the meadow and a row of edible hedges growing a selection of blackcurrants and gooseberries, rich in vitamin c and antioxidants, we encourage those passing by the hedges to try the fruit and enjoy their many health benefits. The fruit trees are a good source of nourishment for birds and badgers and they entice a number of pollinators, including moths, which are beneficial to bats as a food source.
Also, a visit to The Kitchen Garden would not be complete without meeting our friendly rescue chickens. For clients joining us on The Estate for the Metabolic Health Retreat, there is the opportunity to collect eggs from our feathered friends in the mornings.