Pub Gets Regulars to Grow Its Food

Landlords trade plots for percentage of produce

The British might be lapping us in the farm-to-table race, as a Cornish pub has gotten its regulars to grow its food.

The Queens Arms in West Cornwall used to be "just a boozer," according to co-owner Chris Brazier. In the six and a half years he and his wife have owned it, the pub has become a much fancier place with "real ales," positive TripAdvisor reviews, and a menu of local and seasonal produce, much of which was acquired by trading farm land to locals in exchange for food.

According to the Telegraph, the Braziers decided to turn the adjacent land into farmable plots about four years ago.

"We thought it was a good idea so we got a local lad to plough it and dig it over, and we put an ad in the village for anyone who wanted a plot," Brazier said.

Fifteen locals pay just £1 ($1.60) a year for their plots. In return, they give 10 percent of the fruit and vegetables they grow to the pub. The local farmers even supply flowers for the pub’s tables, and The Queens Arms even gets to make requests.

"The allotment holders ask us what we would like and we tell them," Brazier said. "Last year we were keen to get different colors of beetroot. It makes a lovely dish roasted with Chantenay carrots and honey with fennel seeds."

The Braziers have put The Queens Arms up for sale, though, so there’s no word on how much longer the arrangement will be going on.

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Brazier commented that his replacement would have to be "prepared to muck in with the locals and have a bit of a laugh — they’d have to be hands on."