Sweet Pete’s Market Garden near Sutton leads the way to organic and ecological future

A market gardener based near Sutton village has survived the pandemic and cultivated success thanks to the support of his local community.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 1:54 pm
Updated Monday, 8th March 2021, 1:56 pm

Green-fingered businessman Peter Horsfall, 34, of Potton, has proved that when life gives you lemons - or a pandemic - you can reinvent yourself and thrive.

As a freelance jazz soloist, Peter knew that coronavirus spelled bad news for the music industry, so he fell back on one of his hobbies and opened Sweet Pete’s Market Garden.

Peter said: “I’ve been a musician for 10 years, touring and all sorts, but with lockdown and Covid-19 all that disappeared swiftly and I could see that I needed to think of something to do.

Post pandemic Peter’s market garden will be a long term project!

“I’ve had a few allotments before and I’d always thought that if I wanted a change of work then I would fancy having an organic farm.”

Luckily, Peter’s wife’s uncle had a corner of land that he wasn’t using, and was happy for Peter to use the 0.5 acre patch to grow produce.

Climate-conscious Peter grows vegetables organically and ecologically, and offers heritage varieties, such as Tigerella and Costoluto Fiorentino tomatoes, which customers won’t find in the supermarkets.

Peter said: “It’s as environmentally friendly as possible and completely chemical free, so it’s good for bees and pollinators and the food miles are next to nothing.”

The businessman planted his seeds last March, so his produce was ready by the time the restaurant trade opened in June, and he was able to supply restaurants including The Plough at Bolnhurst and No.1 King Street, Potton.

This year, Peter is offering veg boxes to residents from June to Christmas. This will give families the opportunity to eat seasonally, whilst also helping the environment. Delivery is within four miles of his land near Sutton

On the change of career, Peter said: “It’s something completely different. It has the physical element, whilst it also has the intellectual element, understanding the different varieties and what each crop needs. I still practice trumpet for a few hours a day, but I don’t miss the travel! Thank you to the community, and Nigel and Jenny Ream for the kind use of their land.”

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