The Bailiwick is packed full of local growers, producers, makers and farmers and we love to help tell their story!
So, we spoke to Sam and Rosie from Alderney Roots a fantastic small market garden, that grows healthy, chemical free fruit and veg that builds soil health and regenerates the farmland. They offer weekly veg box subscriptions and are supplying many of the island’s eateries with their delicious produce, we can’t wait to see them flourish further.
Read on to find out more.
How did Alderney Roots begin?
We started Alderney Roots when we noticed demand for fresh fruit and veg on the island was high, but growing on the island for the community on a commercial scale was low.
This project has been a manifestation of many of our different dreams over the last 10 years.
We began Alderney Roots in the hope that the farm will become a community resource, we would like the farm to be used for learning, teaching and coming together.
What’s been your greatest achievement so far?
Achievements have come thick and fast over the last few months, we’ve found that we find it hard to keep ourselves away especially as the weather has started to get a little bit ‘springier’!
Good things have come in all shapes and sizes, from celebrating our first cauliflower (and eating that same cauliflower…it was DELICIOUS), to putting up our first polytunnel.
I think if we had to choose just one, it would be the fact we’ve started a conversation about where our food comes from on the island and how we can change that by implementing the farm-to-fork method.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
Our biggest challenge came in 11,000 square foot of silage tarping and 50kmph winds. We used the tarp to cover the new ground so we can bypass the conventional farming methods of spraying with chemicals or digging. Covering the ground in November with gusts of 50km almost took Rosie on a parachute trip to France.
What is your favourite dish to cook with your delicious produce?
We are obsessed with kale. In fact, our 2-year-old daughter asks for kale at every meal which definitely isn’t normal toddler behaviour! We eat finely chopped kale and chard as a side dish with pretty much anything and the bigger the dollop of Alderney butter on top – the better!
When you’re not working, you can be found…
At the moment it’s rare not to find us at the farm, but with Alderney’s idyllic beaches and abundant natural beauty we sometimes take time out to explore. You’d think on an island as small as Alderney we’d have seen it all, but we are constantly finding new hidden treasures along the way.
What’s your favourite thing about Alderney?
We adore island life, the beauty and diversity of the island make it totally unique. We love that we are bringing up our daughter Willow in one of the very few places in the world that still feels totally safe.
We also love that the very small community here looks out for each other and supports new ventures like ours, we are really grateful for the reaction we have had to our project.
Do you have any tips for any budding home-growers?
Our main tip would just be to start, but to start consciously.
It’s more important than ever right now to move in a way that helps to regenerate the health of the planet and by doing so, regenerating the health of all of us!
When setting up your garden make sure to research soil health and what you can do to aid regeneration small-scale, a good tip would be to always try and keep your soil active throughout the year by growing cover crops over the winter.
OH, and DON’T try to put down sheeting in 50km winds!