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    New Kitchen Gardens project aims to put provenance on plates

    Salmonella warning over damaged salad leaves

    A new initiative to shake up the farming industry and champion sustainable food provenance has been announced.? Happerley Kitchen Gardens will establish and support a network of viable three to four acre plots growing salads, fruits and vegetables on contract for local restaurants, caterers, schools and retail.

    Happerley Kitchen Gardens aims to rejuvenate the future of family farms whilst also helping to meet the growing demand for local, seasonal produce and reducing the environmental impact of fruit, vegetable, and salad procurement. The project launches with a call for existing farmers, landowners, and potential operators to get involved with the Happerley Kitchen Gardens journey and to develop a network of passionate producers.

    The venture is spearheaded by Happerley – a not for profit organisation founded by farmers to validate the provenance of food ingredients, and Ross Geach – a sixth-generation farmer and former head chef at Stein’s restaurants. Geach himself has already successfully proven the kitchen garden business model by creating a sustainable business and local employment at his four-acre plot, Padstow Kitchen Gardens in Cornwall.

    Geach said: “Kitchen gardens and farming has always been a huge passion of mine, so to be involved with this venture is an extremely exciting opportunity for me. I wouldn’t want to work alongside any other team but Happerley on this project. Not only helping to provide access to local, sustainable produce but also educating people on why it’s so important to us and our planet too.”

    The initiative is strongly supported by Jack Stein, chef director of Stein Restaurant’s who has worked closely with Padstow Kitchen Gardens for many years and is excited by the potential of the Happerley Kitchen Gardens project. Stein said: “If you ask me what the best thing about my cheffing career has been in the last 10 years, it’s without a doubt finding a local kitchen garden to work with. As chefs we are so inspired to see the changing seasons and products coming from Padstow Kitchen Garden. We share in the success on our menus, and we also see the real hard work and dedication that Ross puts into his produce. It’s a great escape to spend a few hours on the farm!”

    Farmers, land owners and potential operators who would like to get involved with the initiative are encouraged to visit www.happerleykitchengardens.co.uk to register their interest.

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