Fresh herbs are at the forefront of the culinary world and with the continued popularity of television chefs and rise of food blogs, people are now eager to experiment and add a wide variety of flavours to their mealtimes.
One woman with both a farming and restaurant background capitalised on this growing trend to create a small herb growing empire.
Alison Dodd, who worked as a chef, started growing her own fresh herbs after becoming frustrated at the lack of supply. She started out by growing herbs on a small scale and selling them to top restaurants. As herbs became more and more popular in the home the company began to grow. “I think people were very nervous about what to do with a herb originally but now people are much more adventurous.”
The company, which now farms on a 100 acre plot near Thirsk in North Yorkshire, grows over forty different varieties of herbs. Alongside growing the more widely known herbs, it also specialise in those that are not commonly available such as lemon verbena, garlic chives and sweet cicely.
The company sells predominantly to restaurants, hotels and high-end chefs through wholesalers as well as to food processors.
Looking ahead Alison said the company was hoping to move towards growing more with the use of hydroponics and LED lighting, saying that she believed that was the way forward for the future.
Speaking to FarmingUK, Alison’s advice to anyone looking to grow their own herbs was simply, “crack on!”