Chegworth Valley, near Harrietsham is a family owned and run fruit farm producing a range of award winning juices and salads.
How large is your range of juices?
We produce 15-20 juices, some seasonal
Are they all made from fruit from your own farms?
Apples & pears are all grown on our own farm and we work with neighbouring farms to source the blended fruits such as strawberries, raspberries etc. Elderflowers are picked on our farm and we make our own cordial which is then blended with the apple juice.
Which is the most popular juice or is it seasonal?
Our Cox & Bramley apple juices is the best seller as it is a classic, medium and very well balanced juice. Other popular varieties include Pear & Apple, Apple & Rhubarb and Apple & Beetroot. Our Winter Warmer is very popular in the winter months – a spiced juice which may be served warm.
You recently opened up a store in the Pantiles – how is this going?
Our Pantiles shop is our first permanent farm shop in Kent and has proved hugely popular so far. It’s unusual to see a true farm shop in the heart of the town and the local community have been very supportive of the shop right from day one. We’re celebrating our first anniversary in May and look forward to many more years to come!
Is there a different pressing process between soft and hard fruits?
All of our fruit is pressed through a belt press here on the farm. There are only a few exceptions – rhubarb must be chopped before pressing, elderflowers are made into a cordial and cherries go through a destining process prior to being pressed.
Are the fruits all picked by hand?
All of the fruit is hand picked, then hand sorted before being pressed. This ensures that only the very best fruit is used!
What are the biggest issues you face at the moment?
Keeping up with everything! We’re a fairly small team and there is always a lot going on across the farm, shops & farmers’ markets – a farmer’s work is never done!
Kent is famous for its sparkling wine but do you have any plans to grow grapes for juicing?
Our speciality is apples & pears, though we have diversified in recent years to include soft fruits, vegetables & salads. For the time being we don’t plan to venture into any other avenues, but we’d never say never!
What as a company are you most proud of?
The hard work put in by all of the team – it’s a real team effort and farming is more than a job, it really is a way of life. It’s great to see something grow from being planted, looked after, picked and then pressed, start to finish.
Tell me about your salads and where they are available to purchase?
Over the summer months we grow a wide range of salads including spinach, rocket, mustard leaves, claytonia, dandelion leaves and much more. We sell direct through our own shops & at farmers’ markets as well as to independent delis, restaurants and farm shops throughout Kent & London.