Welcome to Buttervilla Growers
Exceptional Heritage Tomatoes and Fruit
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Buttervilla Growers produce a rage of exceptional produce: heritage (a.k.a heirloom) tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, rhubarb, blueberries, herbs and vegetables, hand grown in Cornwall using organic methods with much love and care.
Everything is grown on a small scale, cropped young and tender, then harvested and delivered in hours for that special freshness that sets us apart.
First of 5 new 50 metre polytunnels finished on our new land at Elmgate. Ready for the 2013 crop heritage tomatoes.
Buttervilla has been awarded the second prize of € 2000 by Italian organisation La Secondaluna for its work. Robert says "Its a real honour to be recognised by Italians who grow some of the finest tasting produce in Europe and support the small artisan growers who produce it"
" The jury evaluated the passion of Robert Hocking and his family for seeds and cultivation as meeting the criteria of the competition. From the passion for seeds and traditional cultivation techniques, Buttervilla Farm was born. It is a skilled farming production, today admired by some of the best restaurants in England. The prize goes to a family who believed in the use of ancient cultivation techniques, in biodiversity, in the value of the flavour of food and who today proposes a model of sustainable agriculture."
New Tomato Varieties for 2013 (Photos soon)
We save seed from our best open pollinated heritage tomatoes each year so they become use to our Cornish microclimate. We also test grow new varieties from seed we search the world for. Not many of the new types make the grade as they often come from totally different climate where they often get a lot more sun, but we persevere and each year add a couple to our growing list of heirlooms that we offer. For 2013 we are test growing the following types and are hoping for a bit more sun!!
Carbon – Big, regular-leaf tomatoes yielding 10-14 oz beautiful purple-brown, open-pollinated tomatoes. Among of the darkest of the black tomatoes with delicious, rich, complex flavours.
Brandywine Red – This old time legendary is a very special strain of Red Brandywine and comes from Chester County Pennsylvania where it originated in 1885. These vines produce 8 -12 ounce, deep bright-red round fruits in clusters of 4 to 6. Outstanding, robust, with intense tomato flavour. This is a different strain from regular Red Brandywine which is slightly larger, later and more ribbed.
Bloody Butcher – Early, A sensational early producing variety. A good choice for a tomato as we wait for later varieties to harvest. Vigorous, potato-leaf producing 2", 4 oz, fruits that are deep-red colour, inside and out. Five to nine fruits per cluster with a rich heirloom tomato flavour. Plant produces until frost. A good tomato variety for our cooler climate since fruits ripen quickly.
Green Zebra – Developed in 1985 by tomato breeder Tom Wagner, this is an unusual and exquisite green tomato chosen by Alice Waters for her restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. The 2-inch round fruit ripens to a yellow-gold with dark-green zebra-like stripes. The flesh is lime-emerald in colour that has an invigorating lemon-lime flavour. A great green tomato for brightening up salads and other tomato dishes.
Big Beef – This is a de-hybridized version of an American favorite. These large, juicy, fruits combine old-fashioned beefsteak flavour with heavy yields. 1-pound, round to globe-shaped. Flavour is full and hearty with lots of sweet juice balanced with that wonderful tomato acidity. These giants slice up perfectly. Fruit stays large even at the end of a long harvest season.
Box Car Willie – Named for the singer Boxcar Willie of the Grand Ole Opry, who's real name was Lecil Travis Martin. Regular-leaf, tall, vigorous, tomato plants that yield 10 to 16-ounce beauties, smooth, bright-orange/red slicer tomatoes with distinctly delicious well-balanced, rich, sweet that have sufficient acid to push the flavours forward and guarantee this variety as a good choice for a sauce tomato or salad tomato or perfect for tomato juice. A good all season tomato that produces well until frost.
Amana Orange - Huge heirloom beefsteak tomato named for the Amana Colonies in Iowa. Big, regular leaf plants that produce a beautiful light-orange, irregular shaped (fluted) heirloom tomatoes that can grow to 2 pounds or more, with an average diameter of 5 inches. Excellent sweet, almost tropical fruit flavours.
Arkansas Traveller – A 100 year old heirloom. Regular-leaf, 6', vigorous tomato plants that yield 8-ounce, round rose-pink tomatoes. Considered to be one of the best tasting tomato varieties with well balanced sweet/tart flavours.
Amish Gold - Cross between Amish Paste and Sungold. Regular-leaf plants that yield crops of 1 1/2"-2" long, oblong shaped, gorgeous golden tomatoes with sharply-pointed end. Fruit has the gold colour and flavour of the Sungold, the meatiness of the Amish Paste and delicious sweet/tart tomato flavours that will have you want this as a favourite tomato in your garden. A rare tomato variety. A unique tomato variety
Aussie – Dependable red heirloom tomato. Regular-leaf tomato plants that dependably yield picture-perfect 1-2 lb., glossy-red, meaty, fluted, beefsteak tomatoes that are LOADED with delicious, bold, rich and complex tomato flavours.
German Johnson – Very large 1-2 lb fruits are deep pink, very flavourful and nearly crack-free. A large, prolific plant originating in Virginia and North Carolina that produces huge, pink, beefsteak type tomatoes often more than 1-pound. The flavor is excellent.
Stupice – Potato leaf variety that comes from Czechoslovakia. One of the best early tomatoes, this is among the earliest. Excellent flavor for an early type; these produce lots of red, small to medium sized fruit over a very long season. Bears an abundance of very sweet, flavorful 2 to 3-inch, deep red fruit. A 1988 comparative tasting in the San Francisco area gave it first place for its wonderful sweet/acid, tomatoey flavor and production.
Black Vernissage - A lovely "Black" tomato that is loaded with flavor. This 2 oz. tomato, along with it's other Vernissage cousins are perfect for rich tasting sauces.
Pink Vernissage - cherry tomatoes to about 2 oz. These beauties are pink with usually faint green-to-orange stripes. One of the exciting new varieties this year that really is amazing looking! Grown from Ukrainian seed . As a dried tomato, they are magnificent. They taste like a rich pizza sauce
An Introduction to Our Produce
Our heritage tomatoes, not only red but yellow, pink, purple, green and black, they come in lots of different shapes and sizes and have many admirers. Available from June they bring back amazing flavours that have been lost to commercial growing methods and the use of modern hybrid varieties that often consider shelf life to be more important than taste. See our fruit page more information about our tomatoes.
We grow some fine and tasty soft fruit - strawberries including the chefs favorites gariguette and mara des bois. We also grow raspberries, rhubarb, blackcurrant's, gooseberries and blueberries along with a range of culinary herbs.
"True Believer Award"
For our seven year association with his Fifteen restaurant and its apprentices - April 2012
James Smallbridge at Buttervilla filming for his new T.V series "The Hungry Sailors" due to be broadcast in 2013
Executive Chef - Watergate Bay -Cornwall
Buttervilla has been teasing us with their Gariguette strawberries (the best you will ever taste) raspberries, red gooseberries, blackcurrant's and the promise of the first heritage tomatoes
"Those Artichokes are the best and freshest i may have seen in my years of
"I actually feel emotional at the quality of your produce and tonight used
some of the herbs and roasted a whole Parsnip in Brown butter and Malt for a table and sent it into the room to show the table."
From BMI Airways flight mag spring 2011
The Telegraph Lead Food writer
Good Food Producers Guide
Buttervilla Farm is run by Robert Hocking an inspirational grower who has got together with two other farms, Keveral and Skye Grove to grow a range of extraordinary and diverse plants including heritage tomatoes, edible flowers and microleaf (infant food plant leaves to scatter over salads and grills) The produce is organic and in the case of Skye Grove ultra-green since all the ploughing is actually done using draught horses. The quality of the vegetables and the variety is awesome – it makes you want to cook.
Interview with Fifteen Cornwall
Fresh Produce Journal Heritage Article August 2012
Rose Prince visits Buttervilla for the Telegraph
This article made us smile - Organic Rock Star!!
The Times on Toms Aug 2011
Soho-House Group Cookhouse magazine feature April 2011