VISION & PLANS
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A Family Business with a Rich History
The heart of Applegarth is its community and has been ever since the Benson family started growing, farming, producing and selling food from their farmland on the Surrey Hampshire borders of Grayshott 45 years ago. With a few upgrades & enhancements along the way – enabling Applegarth to maintain its firm foothold within the community – the business has stayed true to its roots and today operates a vibrant, popular business employing over 20 people.
For several years now, Applegarth has recognised it has the potential to expand beyond the here and now, in a way which will further benefit its residents and the surrounding businesses in a significant way. Without changing who Applegarth are, realising this potential will not only provide new employment opportunities for the community but it will also enable the business to continue a journey of both personal and national importance – to farm and live more responsibly.
A detailed planning permission was submitted to East Hampshire District council in April 2021.
In January 2022 we are now extremely close to gaining the planning permission with all reports now agreed and the section 106 agreement being concluded.
If you would like to have a look at the plans please click the button below.
What is it:
A 6 acre development marrying food production, consumption and education in all its forms
40 full time, 32 part time
Farm Shop Food Hall
- Market Garden
- Growing School
FROM GRAIN TO GASTRONOME
FOOD IN ALL ITS GLORY, PRODUCED BY US
There are multiple elements to the business development plan (which are listed in the box above) and the following drawing illustrates how Applegarth will accommodate for them:
As the powerhouse of Applegarth, the Aeroponic Greenhouse needs to produce a continuous & vsupply of heritage fruit & vegetables and on a scale that will become a supply chain for every single area of the business.
With the aid of its sister company Seedleaves and in partnership with Tower Garden, Applegarth can achieve this using aeroponic growing methods, an increasingly popular and hugely sustainable form of agriculture.
This new and innovative approach to farming is seeing a surge in popularly across the globe and will not only help increase what is ‘home-grown’ but will also significantly reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, aeroponic production uses 5% of the water normal agriculture does and increases crop yield exponentially using very little space, labour & energy and absolutely no pesticides or fertilisers.
Applegarth has spent the past year perfecting this all-natural method of growing and will also provide educational tours and lessons that will empower the local community to start growing their own amazing & interesting fresh produce within their business or home.
By scaling the existing 70 cover restaurant to accommodate for Applegarth's many loyal guests as well as welcoming new ones, they will eliminate the wait list that they currently see on busy nights and meet the increased demand.
With this in mind, the future vision includes:
a main restaurant accommodating 100 pax
an additional private dining area accommodating 30 pax
a Chef's Table event space in the Cookery School showcasing the culinary expertise of our kitchen team and guest chefs
a cosy Wine & Cocktail Bar to while away the hours
Set within a vibrant outdoor Market Garden, scattered eco ‘dining pods’ will offer guests the physical benefits of being outdoors as well as enjoying the food where it's grown.
With a growing appetite for variety, reassurance on food provenance and desire for fresh, quality & locally sourced foods, creating a large artisan Food Hall is at the forefront of the Applegarth vision.
Here, guests will be able to experience and consume an incredible range of sustainably sourced produce from the Market Garden, chefs kitchens & local artisan partners, all under one roof and safe in the knowledge of where it has come from.
From a popular weekend haunt during the wet and windy months to a one-stop-shop for the high-end diner, the indoor Food Hall is where it’s at.
Small businesses are where innovation happens. This is something Applegarth will always get behind as it increasingly looks for new opportunities to help local entrepreneurs grow & succeed in a way that will foster the local economy and support the community.
Applegarth's future vision is to utilise every area they can, incorporating those existing businesses within a single structure as well as building 5 separate nordic cabins to accommodate new local businesses in pursuit of a productive workspace.
Serving a multipurpose by inspiring production, offering shoulder-to-shoulder support from neighbouring entrepreneurs and serving as a commercial retail space – this facility will be of great value to it's inhabitants and will provide another unique selling point for the entire Applegarth operation.
Furthermore, Applegarth will help these businesses build brand awareness, driving traffic and commercial sales via a collaborative marketing programme.
With an increasing awareness and need for everyone to reduce their footprint through food, this will sit at the very essence of the Applegarth Cookery School ethos. This means advocating and embracing initiatives like renewable energy, homegrown food production, local and sustainably sourced produce, plastic-free, zero waste, water efficiency, recycling and more.
The current Cookery School has a limited capacity of 8 pax and with a lack of similar facilities in the area, there is huge potential to expand upon the existing offer.
With classes delivered by a range of specialist guest & resident chefs, 'students' will be able to take lessons from basic knife skills to charcuterie production and from British to international cuisine.
Classes will provide both light-hearted 'experiential' group events as well as more established structured lessons.
The Applegarth experience will be multifaceted & unique where guests can learn, relax & reset away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life – regardless of the nature of the visit or length of stay.
By building a number of carbon neutral, highly energy efficient eco-pods Applegarth are demonstrating a commitment to ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism and guests will have the opportunity to absorb the full Applegarth experience.
Guests looking for that green getaway experience at Applegarth will benefit from a tailored programme with multi-day courses, daily changing menus that centre around our Market Garden and so much more. Adults & children alike will seek and find joy in the simple, natural pleasures of life.
Applegarth currently grow fresh produce using a symbiotic mix of traditional farming and aeroponic methods. By continuing to scale this approach further, the Market Garden too will become a supply chain for every single area of the business.
Under the watchful, skilful eye of Head Kitchen Gardener Ianto, the Market Garden will produce an abundant array of traditionally grown root crops & fruits. Albeit the growing conditions are sandy, we will create a range of raised beds and an orchard of delicious top fruit too.
Become an expert in environmentally-friendly approaches to food production at Applegarth. From how to create the perfect compost & prune an apple tree to lessons in growing heritage produce indoors at home – Applegarth will provide a range of lessons for a year round understanding of how to maintain your garden, wherever it may be.
Both the growing and cookery school will be highly symbiotic in nature and will provide lessons such as 'seed to fork' where clients will learn how to get the most out of their own market garden.
Applegarth welcome your feedback on this plan
Currently at an outline planning application stage, now is the time to tell us what you think – Applegarth are committed to making these developments truly exceptional.
This project has tremendous potential and Applegarth are actively looking for partners to join them in its execution, with the opportunity for local small businesses to rent a production & commercial space at the farm. To that end, Applegarth are looking for like minded entrepreneurs and businesses who share their natural living ethos and have a natural synergy with their own. If you are a small artisan producer and like what you see then do get in touch.