May 9, 2018
Tonight I am actually travelling! And heading the grand total of 9 1/2 miles across the English border, to Hordley in North Shropshire, to talk to Quinoa grower Stephen Jones @BritishQuinoa
We start off discussing Stephen's farm, that his family have been on for 80 years, and how he ended up studying crop production and agronomy at Harper Adams University, before going on to do a phd at Nottingham.
We then talk about how he first heard about Quinoa in a local magazine, and how it fired his imagination enough to try to grow some for himself on the farm, (we also find out how you pronounce it - IS IT QUINOA OR KEEN-WAH?!) and his early experiments with supermarket bought seed.
We then move on to the breakthrough moment when he found varieties bred specifically for the European market, through Wageningan University in the Netherlands, and how he has close ties to other growers throughout Europe, before discussing the crop itself, and how it compares to other conventional crops grown in the UK.
We talk about how they process it and market it, and how they sell to companies from Pret a Manger, right through to large supermarkets, and how cool it is to see something they've grown in stores.
We also talk about the food itself, how it tastes, how to cook it, and what the nutritional benefits are, as well as talking about their range of own brand retail packs, and what the future holds for the business.
All this and lots, lots more. Stephen's one of the interesting and innovative farmers in the UK who are really pushing boundaries, and it was absolutely fascinating to talk to him and learn more about his amazing product and business.
Check it out folks..
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