Set up by Joseph Otway from Higher Ground, alongside grower Michael Fitzsimmons, Cinderwood Market Garden is a one-acre farm project that has pretty much become the go-to for Manchester’s best restaurants and eateries.
The likes of Mana, The Creameries, Elnecot, Where The Light Gets In, District and newbie 10 Tib Lane all order their produce from Cinderwood, a project that was born out of a shared vision on “farming food for flavour”.
So you’ll only find regenerative farming methods and organic principles here, creating responsibly grown vegetables that are easily accessible, flavourful and nutritious. Nothing here is grown to fill huge orders, and the relationship between grower and chef is much more fluid than ever before.
The idea is that both farmer and chef can now work together to grow produce that makes an impact to the soil and those who eat it. Meaning the city’s menus are getting more seasonal, as well as reactionary to what’s currently growing well and tasting particularly good that week.
Recent weeks has seen an influx into the city of Cinderwood’s exceptionally flavoured heirloom tomatoes, which have graced specials boards across town, from 3 Hand Deli’s outstanding toasties, to salads at Elnecot and served alongside Cornish Crab at Little Window in Altrincham Market.
From “incredible courgettes to vibrant chard and the freshest tasting herbs you can find” Cinderwood are proud to work by hand, “combining exciting seed varieties with a rich and healthy soil” to produce fruits and vegetables with unbelievable flavours.
Maintaining and nurturing this relationship between restaurant and grower is something that Michael and Joseph believe is the key to positive farming; an idea that will improve the local food system and bring nutrient-rich ingredients to more people.
In addition, the non-invasive methods at work help restore soil health and regenerate the land in which they’re grown.
As a result, they are always looking and appealing to chefs, farm shop or deli owners, and people looking for top-quality produce, to find out what they look for in their ingredients, as well as educating them on what they’ll be growing throughout the year.
Therefore, menus can be designed and drawn up with only the freshest, tastiest and in-season vegetables imaginable, reducing the impact on the environment, and increasing the overall experience for customers.
It’s all a big win-win really. We as customers get only the very best fruits, vegetables and herbs, chefs get to be creative with top-quality seasonal vegetables, Cinderwood get to grow and experiment and the earth isn’t farmed to within an inch of its life before we pack up and move onto the next bit of fertile land.
“Cinderwood” is a word that you’re likely to see much, much more on menus throughout the city, and indeed the region. If and when you do – make sure you give their produce a try – you’ll be bowled over with just how much more flavour there is in there than the usual supermarket vegetables.
And if you’re a chef, get in touch with the lads at the farm and see what you can both do together…