A WYE Valley veggie grower is proving a foodie fave, with repeat appearances and wow reviews on a top TV show.
Celebrity chef James Martin has been blown away by the produce of Welsh Bicknor-based grower Dom Bon Marsh, and called him back for another appearance on his ITV Saturday Morning show at the weekend, describing it as the best veg he’s ever seen.
Orders for Wye Organic’s veg, alongside organic meat and flower boxes from fellow local producers, have exploded since Dom started appearing on the show, and delivery drivers are out until midnight dropping boxes off to satisfied customers.
Dom, who grows in a half-acre walled garden at Courtfield near Goodrich, first came to the chef’s attention when he asked him to prepare a veggie garden in Hampshire for the show.
On Saturday (April 22) he made his third appearance to do some vital work on the new garden.
And James was unstinting in his praise, telling him: “We have had many suppliers on the show in the last three years and I’ve never seen veg as good as what you produce at your place.
“We are hopefully going to try and replicate that down in Hampshire.”
The 40-year-old father-of-two, who planted turnip seedlings in raised beds on the show and provided secrets to growing success, was delighted that the produce tickled the chef’s tastebuds.
He handed him some organic compost he had brought with him and predicted that the celeb cook would have a good crop.
Dom also stunned Martin when he gave him a Wye Valley-grown Cape gooseberry, which are rarely produced in this country, and said it was a ‘super food’.
The chef praised the soil quality, and Dom told him that because the new garden faces south, is sheltered from winds and benefits from afternoon afternoon, it should produce “a reasonable crop”.
Martin, whose show comes from his Hampshire home, said: “I set this garden up because I fell in love with food through the love of gardening.
“Every time I come out it just reminds me of my grandad and the tremendous amount of work that he put in, but the benefit you get from it.
“It’s a bit like cooking really, you put the work in and you get the reward out of it and this is exactly the same.”
Dom says the TV exposure has been a real boost for Wye Organic, who deliver in the Forest, Monmouth, Ross-on-Wye and south Herefordshire.
And he says he hopes it will inspire more people to try local growers and eat locally-produced seasonal and organic food.