Our family began our career as Norfolk Vegetable Growers back in the 1930’s when Sam Debbage, James’s Grandfather, started his own small-holding here in Berghapton, near Norwich. For decades Sam farmed his land as a market garden, growing many acres of brassicas which we continue to grow to this day alongside more modern day arable crops on the remainder of our farm.
Some of our current day vegetable crops are still grown on the same fields Sam farmed all those years ago, including cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, sprouting broccoli, kale, leeks, pumpkins, rhubarb,
This picture shows Sam (at the back on the tractor hoe) and Bob Debbage (James’s father) working on a field of cauliflowers in the 1960’s. Also in this picture is our Massey Ferguson 35 which is still used on our vegetable farm today!
Our Speciality Vegetable Crops
Since then, consumer’s tastes in vegetables have changed greatly, turning more and more adventurous all the time. So we see it as our job as both vegetable growers and a farm shop to serve Norfolk with something a little different to what you’d find on the shelves elsewhere. Below are some of the more unusual crops we grow for our shop…
Green Pastures Salad Leaf Mixes
Grown 100% on the premises, our amazing homegrown salad mixes are simply a taste sensation! Inspired by James’s field trip to the USA in 2012 where farm shops drew people for miles around for “homegrown” do-nuts, he quickly developed our own much healthier star attraction!
With up to 40 different ingredients in a single bag, often including edible flowers too, you’ll never want to buy another salad any where else again!
Available May to October.
Gourmet Baby Tomatoes
There are literally hundreds of tomato varieties in existence, yet only a handful are grown commercially for the supermarkets. We have developed a truly unique collection of cherry, berry and currant tomatoes in a stunning range of colours, shapes and sizes. Our tomato mix includes “Golden Sweet”, the sweetest tomato we’ve ever tasted. A real tomato-e treat for the taste buds!
Our tomatoes are also grown in the poly-tunnels here at Green Pastures, which we clear for this crop as soon as the bedding plants sell through. So we have to be patient and wait until late summer for picking!
Pumpkins and Squashes
Our pumpkin crop has become such a big thing we’ve even created an annual Pumpkin Day event in their honour!
But beyond the Halloween decoration is a fascinating and versatile family of squashes for use in the kitchen. Our squash crop includes Sweet Dumpling, Blue Hubbard, Crown Prince and Buttercup Squash.
In addition to traditional and pie varieties, we grow “Cinderella Pumpkins,” an old fashioned French heirloom variety, said by many to have the finest flavour of all.
So they’re not vegetables but we have to include them as its not everyday you get the chance to sample this seldom grown fruit! The Huckleberry is one of our latest experiments and what a tasty one its proven to be.
Being a member of the potato family, you must only consume the Huckleberry once cooked. We highly recommend it used in the same way as a cooking apple, in a pie or crumble for instance where you can enjoy its delicious rich flavour, not that dis-similar to a blueberry.
The Massey 35
With the third generation of Debbage’s now farming here in Berghapton, there’s one original member of our farming family who’s still growing strong. Meet our Massey Ferguson “35”, brought new to our farm by Sam Debbage and now having completed over 50 years of service. The “35” was a very familiar sight on small Norfolk farms and market gardens in the 50s, 60s and even the 70’s. She’s a far cry from today’s modern day tractors but still proves to be perfect for many of the duties involved in growing our veg and can regularly be seen pulling our planter during the spring and summer.