Peter Ascroft on Cauliflowers
Written on June 28th, 2012
“A lot of the time men think they can’t understand women’s needs. Women are easy compared to cauliflowers,” says Peter Ascroft, who has been growing caulis for us for 15 years at Worthington’s Farm. The vagaries of the crop are all-consuming; Peter’s father was planting cauliflowers in his fields at Tarleton when he was born, and he happened to die out there, too. “When you’re a man of the land you’re a man of the land,” says Peter. “It’s not just a job, it becomes a part of you. I grow my cauliflowers with everything I’ve got.”
The result of this dedication is a delicious crop which not everyone can achieve. “If you talk to amateur gardeners they’ll say they can grow courgettes and cabbages but they can’t grow cauliflowers,” Peter says. “They don’t like it too hot and they don’t like it too cold. They do like a full moon, though, that generally brings them up!” In summer, when the curds are white and ready for harvest, Peter eats his fill. “I eat one raw in the morning when we’re cutting and one for my tea at night, with either cheese sauce on or a bit of gravy,” he says. As a small grower with extraordinary passion, he’s happy to work with a food store that places a high value on the crop he loves so much. “Booths do understand and value food, and they treat you with integrity,” he says.