Take a tour of Cobrey Farms in Herefordshire with us
Yesterday we had the absolute pleasure of taking a tour around Cobrey Farms, owned by the Chinn Family in Herefordshire.
For those that don’t know, Cobrey Farms is famous for its Asparagus, but they also produce some fabulous other produce, including Blueberries, Rhubarb, Fine Beans and even English Sparkling Wine.
The farm today is over 3,500 acres in size but back in 1925, when Wilfred Chinn took on the tenancy it was only 125 acres. The business pretty much blossomed from the beginning, with the family taking on new challenges and crops, such as Potatoes, Onions and even dabbled into the prepared produce world. Unfortunately, disaster struck in 2002 and the farm fell victim to an awful fire which consumed their Potato and Onion facilities, the Chinn family were quick to rebuild and the site was redeveloped to make way for the now hugely popular, Asparagus enterprise.
We started the tour with the Rhubarb crops and WOW there are a lot of them - The field went on as far as the eye could see and then a bit more after that as well! Chris Chinn showed us the tunnelling system they use to protect the Rhubarb during the different seasons and it was truly fascinating, the amount of work that goes into growing these little beauties is incredible and just look at the colour of it!!
We then moved on to the Blueberry plants, sadly they weren’t quite ready yet otherwise we would have picked a cheeky few. We were greeted by quite literally, hundreds of Blueberry plants which were all potted, Chris explained the reasoning behind this was so that the plants can grow freely but the actual land and soil stays perfectly intact to preserve the farm, Clever! We also couldn’t help but notice there were little yellow boxes dotted around everywhere, which we soon realised were in fact, Bumble Bee houses. The family import them and place them on the farm to help the plants, but why not Honey Bees, right? Well, Honey Bees are still quite lazy & a bit ditzy at this time of year whereas Bumble Bees are raring & ready to go, so Bumble Bees it is!
They were everywhere, 1 Bumble Bee house to around 15 Blueberry plants and there were a lot of Blueberry plants – Its safe to say we didn’t hang around in that area for very long.
Next up, the one we had been most excited to see, Asparagus. We arrived just after the area had been cut so we only got to see a few poking up out of the soil, but at least we got to pick a few stems for dinner (with the family’s permission of course). Exactly as the Rhubarb, the work that goes into ensuring the Asparagus grows perfectly is mind blowing; they use the same tunnelling system that gives the plant the appropriate amount of heat all throughout the year, it’s really quite remarkable.
Walking around the farm you can feel the family business seeping through everything, the warmth of everyone you meet, the way they speak about the produce they are growing, there’s something so pure about it. They even operate an ‘Honesty Shop’ where the locals can pop in and purchase Asparagus, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Blueberries and even homemade dog treats. The shop is completely un-staffed and they rely on the honesty of people entering to pay for what they are taking, something that they started up during COVID and have stuck with since.
If you haven’t already, we would encourage you to take a look at their fabulous website, have a little read on their history and if you fancy it, you could always enquire about visiting and see the magic for yourself.
We currently have their Rhubarb and Asparagus on special offer so grab some while you can;
Wye Valle Rhubarb – Code 31223
Wye Valley Asparagus – Code 1024
Thanks for reading,