Yesterday, Chris Evans’ special guest on his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show was none other than local Kent olive producer, Neil Davy.
Neil was invited on the show to share more on how olives really can be grown on english shores. He shared his story and the months of research it took to take the plunge and have a go with 200 olive trees planted on the banks of the Isle of Oxney, overlooking the vast expanses of the Romney Marsh.
Climate change may be thought to improve the chances of olive grove production in the UK, but since Neil planted his trees in 2011, he has faced one of the most severest winters in decades, the wettest months on record, and the coldest springs too. Despite all this, his selection of certain species which can withstand such conditions has born fruits. Olives so far have been sold to the local pub The Ferry Inn in Stone and made into tapenade. This year, an auction will take place to raise proceeds for the Cystic Fibrosis charity.
We count ourselves very lucky to live and farm in the warmer climate of the South East of England. The “Garden of England”‘s range of produce is vast, making for a huge diversity of farm locations for use in film and photo shoots. Huggit’s Farm on the Isle of Oxney is one of our most unusual for sure – venture just an hour south of London and you have found a local slice of the Mediterranean.
Neil also plans to run tours of his olive grove combined with tours of the local vineyard at Gusbourne Estate. More details will follow on the Davy’s website here, and for any enquiries re film or photo shoots at the olive grove at Huggit’s Farm , contact Jo on 07802 979348.