Gardens

The garden team at Sheepdrove

Gardening at Sheepdrove is central to the core values of our farm. Tying together the Farm, Kitchens & Eco Conference Centre is our team of gardeners. Led by Rob, our Kew trained Head Gardener, they garden an acre of productive land across our Walled Garden, Polytunnel and herb beds. These are cared for using biodynamic, no-dig and minimum tillage techniques. The adage “The best fertiliser is the farmers shadow” says it all!

The majority of our fruit, veg and herbs goes to supply our Eco Conference Centre kitchen. This means that we can harvest crops the same day they’re served. So, it’s as near to farm to fork as you can get; nutrient rich and full of flavour.

The garden team’s polytunnel ensures we can produce sun-loving crops reliably throughout the year. We’re never short of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers when they’re in season and we can also grow fresh zesty salads. In fact the harvesting of veg doesn’t stop in the winter with root veg, cabbages, kales and leeks still growing outside. 

We are proud to grow 14 different herbs for our sister company Neal’s Yard Remedies. Some of which are quite unusual like Chickweed which many gardeners will tell you is a nuisance. We also grow the very popular and renowned soother Calendula. Neal’s Yard are 100% Carbon Neutral and work alongside the owners of Sheepdrove in an ethical and sustainable way. 

Our Physic Garden, designed by Jekka McVicar, is planted with practical herbs that have medicinal, culinary and aromatherapy uses. It also makes a stunning backdrop to the Eco Conference Centre. The garden team help with habitat management across the estate and look after the landscaped areas of Sheepdrove. They can often be found coppicing and pruning the trees and shrubs around the farm in the Winter, as well as mowing and providing grounds maintenance. With all of this hard work, we are fortunate to have regular help from WWOOFers as part of their international volunteer programme.