Producer of the Month: Chris Chinn, Asparagus
This month we take a look into the daily workings of Asparagus grower Chris Chinn.
Chris Chinn is an asparagus farmer at Cobrey Farms, Ross-on-wye. They supply half of the British asparagus that the Co-op sells (100 tons a year). Chris works on the same farm that his great grandparents once worked at. All of the asparagus is cut and sorted by hand. In the height of the summer the asparagus can grow up to 20cm per day so sometimes it needs to be harvested twice in one day.
Why do you do what you do?
Four generations of my family have worked on this farm. Asparagus farming is really an intrinsic part of who I am and I enjoy the process of farming.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the seasonal aspect of farming in the UK. I'm proud to say that British Asparagus is seen as the best in the world.
What do you least enjoy about your job?
I do honestly enjoy everything about my job, I don't think that there's anything I would change.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Not a single piece of asparagus that we grow is thrown away. The Grade 1 asparagus is supplied to the Co-op and the Grade 2 produce still tastes great but might not be uniform length or shape goes to local chefs. The trimmings are used in soups and ready meals so there is really no food waste.
Why should we buy British produce?
The freshness of British produce is unbeatable. Asparagus grown at Cobrey farms can be on Co-op shelves within 24 hours. It's also so important to support British farms that have been run by families for generations
How do you think we should be promoting British?
British farming is so seasonal and that's what makes the produce so fresh. The soil is crucial for growing great tasting asparagus.
If you were an advertising executive what slogan would you use to promote British food?
Asparagus: The Reason for Buying British in Season.
What's on the menu this evening?
My favourite food is an asparagus and bacon roll. Its simple but with a splash of Worcester sauce it is really delicious.
How can people get hold of your produce?
The bulk of the asparagus grown here supplies the Co-op.
You can watch a short video about Chris Chinn and how his asparagus is grown and delivered to store by the Co-op here -