6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

The Good Life: smallholding in Kent

PUBLISHED: 14:49 09 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:38 11 June 2013

Sam Deeson at The Bunker, near Canterbury

Sam Deeson at The Bunker, near Canterbury

Manu Palomeque

Some people aren't content with growing the odd bit of fruit or veg, they want to produce food on a much grander scale. Meet the smallholders

The Bunker

Sam Deeson

There’s local food, then there’s really local food. Sam Deeson, owner of Deesons restaurant in Canterbury, has hit upon the novel idea of using a smallholding to provide much of the produce for his restaurant.

“I’ve always been a big supporter of local food and so for me this was the obvious next step. You can’t get more local than sourcing your menu from a local smallholding,” he says.

When he first took it over, the site had been fallow for around 20 years. But Sam had a vision and the determination to make that vision a reality.

“It took plenty of hard work but eventually we got there. What we have today is a smallholding that produces a wide variety of veg, and which also contains some pigs and poultry for the restaurant too.

We’ve even got our own bees,” he says. “It’s been a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience.”

But the hard-work hasn’t ended with Sam’s transformation of his smallholding. Maintenance of his vision is a daily job.

“I’m typically up at the site before the sun comes up, feeding my collection of very noisy pigs and picking what vegetables I’m going to take up to the restaurant that day.

“I pretty much then divide my time between the smallholding and the restaurant, very rarely getting much of a break. Very recently I had to go down there when I was ill because that’s the nature of the work. The demands of a smallholding are blind to whether you’re ill or not.”

Despite the hard work, Sam feels that this way of running his business has been the right path to take.

“From the restaurant’s perspective we offer diners something unique; truly locally produced food.

“We also strictly adhere to the seasons, which is not something many restaurants can boast.

“I have a highly talented group of chefs who are creative enough to constantly produce great food from what’s in season, which is something we are all very proud of.

“And then, from a personal perspective, I love the fact that I get away from everything and lose myself in the countryside.

“I grew up on a farm and so it’s wonderful that I am getting to immerse myself in the rural environment once again.”

More from People

Nicola Leverington, aka the Wedding Dress Surgeon, on achieving the perfect fit and her new training courses

Read more
May 2019

Fine Art graduate Arianne Mills on having quite possibly the best job in Kent

Read more
April 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019

With Royal British Legion Industries celebrating its centenary this year, we look at how the Royal British Legion village in Aylesford supports veterans through employment

Read more
April 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019

Plastic pollution is spoiling our beautiful coastline and damaging wildlife, but we can all do our bit to help

Read more
March 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019

Are your pre-school children getting enough outdoor play? Kent Wildlife Trust's new Nature Tots course could be just the solution

Read more
March 2019

Meet our 2018 Junior Collector Cameron Jarvis, 11, whose passion is for all things turtle related

Read more
April 2019

The influence of Van Gogh's time teaching in Ramsgate is reflected in the art he produced as a professional painter, now on show at Tate Britain

Read more
April 2019

Chris Wiggins on how his childhood love of horses and the outdoors led to the career he loves

Read more
March 2019
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Jamie Cullum will be showcasing songs from his new album at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival - and it's going to be emotional

Read more

Canterbury artist James Bland on figurative painting and the alchemy of oils

Read more
February 2019

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life