Cornish pub serves up community allotments

By Fred A'Court

- Last updated on GMT

Dig in: The Queen’s Arms has worked with Pub is the Hub to create an allotment for the community
Dig in: The Queen’s Arms has worked with Pub is the Hub to create an allotment for the community

Related tags: A great way to care

High-end restaurants often boast of serving produce grown in their own kitchen garden but now a Cornish pub is going one better. 

The Queen’s Arms at Breage near Helston is turning its adjacent field into a community allotment, with produce grown by locals making its way on to the pub menu.

Jodie Phillips and Neil Barku, who run the pub, are also to allow part of the field to be used for a monthly farmer’s market. The first will take place this Saturday (22 July) afternoon and then be held on the last Saturday of each month.

Rural pub champion Pub is The Hub is so taken with the idea that it is helping fund it with a grant from its Community Services Fund to support the cost of stall tables and chairs, and to provide some cover for bad weather along with additional allotment equipment.

Phillips and Barku said they wanted to create a regular community event local people and visitors would enjoy, and one that showcased local suppliers and artistic talent. At the same time they wanted to offer local people the chance to use some of their spare land as allotments.

They contacted Pub is The Hub advisor for the south-west, Reg Clarke, who put the scheme together.

Each allotment plot costs a nominal £1 a year to rent, with the proviso that gardeners donate at least 10% of their produce, either vegetables, fruit or flowers, to the pub. Stalls are being provided free of charge to stallholders at the farmers’ market.

Phillips said: “We are lucky at the Queen’s Arms, we have lots of space with our field so we were thrilled when Reg said he could help our dream become a reality. We wanted to do something like this for the community and the monthly farmers’ market gives local farmers, artists and craft suppliers another sales outlet as well as an enjoyable afternoon out for visitors, while our allotment plots feel like a great way to do something for local residents.”

Clarke added: “Jodie and Neil have worked hard to appeal to local customers as well as visitors and this scheme is an ideal way to make the most of space they already have at the pub. I love the idea that produce from the allotments will make its way on to the pub menu.”

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