We are delighted to have begun a new partnership with Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library (HSL), with the aim of reviving, conserving and protecting a selection of heritage and heirloom vegetable seed varieties, some of which have historical origins in Shropshire.

The heritage varieties which are being trialled here at Goldstone Hall Hotel in our one acre kitchen garden include:

Runner Bean Blackpod – a 19th century heirloom from Bridgenorth;

Lettuce Brown Bath Cos – one of the oldest Cos lettuces which becomes brownish-bronze when exposed to sunlight;

Beetroot Dewing’s Early Blood Turnip – an early round beet from the 18th century which is tender and sweet;

Tomato Darby Striped Red/ Yellow – a juicy and classic fruit which produces heavy trusses;

Kale Uncle Burt’s Purple – grown extensively before WWII, large and prolific;

Carrot John’s Purple – crisp and flavoursome.

We will be growing the seed to serve the produce at our restaurant, as well as return some seed to the Heritage Seed Library for their ongoing conservation.

The seeds given to us by the HSL are a selection from their 800-strong collection, many of which have been previously donated to the seed library by others. The HSL store the seeds for safekeeping and then distribute a selection each year to custodians such as Goldstone and their 7,000 HSL members. This initiative ensures these vegetable varieties of national importance are conserved for future generations, whilst still being enjoyed by gardeners who grow and harvest them in their own back gardens and allotments up and down the country.

Our Assistant Gardener, Sarah Smith-Roe, commented:

We are delighted to be safeguarding heritage and heirloom varieties of local vegetable seeds through the Heritage Seed Library scheme. It’s a great way for us to continue to support conservation, biodiversity and help maintain genetic diversity within veg crops.

The beauty of the one-acre kitchen garden here at Goldstone is that we grow many varieties of vegetables and fruit which cannot be found elsewhere, giving the restaurant customer a unique taste of Shropshire soil. These newly introduced heritage varieties will add to the special quality we offer here at Goldstone.”

The Heritage Seed Library (HSL) is run by national charity, Garden Organic. For over 60 years Garden Organic has been leading the organic horticulture movement, supporting people to adopt organic and sustainable growing methods by sharing information, conducting research, running community projects and welcoming people to its own organic demonstration garden.

Catrina Fenton, Head of the Heritage Seed Library commented:

We believe the best way to conserve varieties is to get people growing and enjoying them again. We’re delighted that Goldstone Hall Hotel are going to be helping us not only by sharing these unique varieties with their guests but also by supporting us as Seed Guardians to save the seed. It is particularly great to see local varieties, such as Blackpod, growing back in the Shropshire region.”

Goldstone Garden Opening Times for 2022

The Goldstone gardens will be open every Monday to Thursday, April through to October 2022 with the exception of Bank Holiday Mondays, NGS open days and also privately booked special event days.

Opening Times: 10am to 5pm on the days with the exception of NGS opening days when they are open from 2-5pm.

The garden is also open to guests of Goldstone whether they are staying overnight or simply in the restaurant for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea. The Goldstone restaurant is open all year round.

For more information on Goldstone Hall Hotel, or to enquire about bookings or any further information, please contact 01630 661202 or email enquiries@goldstonehall.com.