How Alexander got into producing Kentish Cobnuts and why he chose this particular product
Alexander Hunt’s cobnut venture began in Bristol, where he was growing some vegetables to pay for his student accomodation. A neighbour who had a few cobnut trees in the garden asked him to pick the nuts at no cost. This is how everything started! His current home is Potash Farm, whose plantation he recently purchased and beautifully restored in an attempt to preserve it as a fine example of cobnut growing in a village that derives it’s production. Alexander, also Chairman of the Kentish Cobnuts Association, states: “The plantation is today part of the village’s heritage and having lived here all my life I feel this is part of the village and me”.
The challenges that Alexander is facing producing Kentish Cobnuts
The main problem in growing nuts in the South East is the grey squirrel problem.
Products that Alexander is offering
On his website, Alexander is offering a range of diverse products including Kentish Cobnuts, Walnuts, Almonds, Pecan Nuts, Chestnuts, Fudge and Brittles, Chocolates, Biscuits, Preserves and Sauces and Oils.
Today the whole of the crop of the farm is sold at Farmers Markets, selected farm shops and London outlets. The Jewish and Muslim communities buy many of the cobnuts during their festivals in October, such as Yom Kippur. The cobnuts are sold between mid August and mid June.
Alexander’s favourite Kentish Cobnut recipes
A small recipe book featuring Alexanders favourite 24 recipes with cobnuts can be found on his website. Please find an example below.
Marrow stuffed with Nuts & Plums (Serves 4)
1) Wash 1 large marrow, split in half lengthways, and remove the seedy central pith. Place in an oven- proof dish.
2) Stone and halve 12oz plums (or a smaller quantity of damsons) and shell 1lb cobnuts (weighed in husk) and chop them coarsely. Fry 2 thinly sliced medium onions in 2oz butter. Mix all the filling ingredients (2 gloves garlic; 6oz thickly sliced mushrooms, 4 sliced tomatoes, 2 heaped tsp grated fresh ginger root, 1 tsp mixed herbs) together and season to taste. Pack into the marrow and dot with 2oz of butter.
3) Cover and cook in a moderate oven (325°F; 170°C; Gas Mark 3) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the marrow. Enjoy!
Address: Apple Trees, Potash Farm, Comp Lane, St Mary’s Platt, Nr Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 8NR
Phone: 01732 882734
> Telegraph December 2012: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/christmas-food-and-drink/9755128/Christmas-2012-Home-grown-walnuts.html
> Guardian August 2013: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/aug/17/cobnuts-meet-the-producer