Camphill Village Trust form partnership with The Eskdale, Castleton

An exciting new collaboration is underway on the North York Moors between the Camphill Village Trust at Botton Village and The Eskdale, Castleton, which is currently undergoing refurbishment.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 11:55 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:58 am
L-R Eskdale Inn Director Marcus Boxshall-Smith, head chef Matt Hall, Co-Director Kirsty Wheller and Camphill Village Trust Business Development Manager Andrew Arnell - Pic: Richard Ponter

The two joined forces after Camphill Village Trust marketing manager Jemma Champion saw posts about the refurbishment of The Eskdale on instagram.

She got in touch with the team, which comprises Marcus Boxshall-Smith, Kirsty Wheller and head chef Matt Hall and the trio were keen to join forces with the trust.

Camphill Village Trust business development manager Andrew Arnell said: “Our partnership with The Eskdale will allow us to showcase the skills and knowledge of the people that we support.”

Residents and volunteers at the centre Julia, Anabel, Robin Evan - assistant gardener, Alasdair, James - Pic: Richard Ponter

Botton village has a historic organic and bio-dynamic farming background. Its herd produces milk daily for the onsite creamery to make artisan cheeses, yoghurt and quark.

Organic livestock includes pigs, sheep and cattle, while the orchards produce fruit and vegetables which go into the various jams, chutneys and preserves produced on site.

The organic food-based theme is complemented with an onsite bakery making fresh bread, cakes and pies.

Jemma said: “Our horticulture partnership with The Eskdale will involve setting aside part of our greenhouses and gardens to grow fruit and vegetables specifically for use in the inn’s restaurant.

L-R - Marcus Boxshall-Smith, Kirsty Wheller and Matt Hall - Pic: Richard Ponter

“Our aim is to support adults with learning disabilities as we work with The Eskdale on its journey to achieving Michelin Star status.”

Assistant gardener Robin Evans said he was looking forward to getting started: “For the last year I’ve been up for the challenge, I think we can handle it.”

Robin said planting for the new venture will start at the back end of January, with salad being grown in one of the village’s five cold frames.

Other produce will include cauliflower, fennel, carrots in red, yellow and normal varieties and heritage tomatoes.

Eskdale Inn Director Marcus Boxshall -Smith, chats to volunteers Anabel and Alasdair about the project - Pic: Richard Ponter

The Eskdale will embrace seasonal vegetables with Matt adjusting his menus to take advantage of the products available.

The relationship will be mutually beneficial, with Matt keen to pass on skills and knowledge to community members.

He has volunteered his time to run fortnightly classes to community residents, allowing them to learn skills which complement those they learn in the bakery and creamery.

Matt said: “I can’t wait, I’m like a kid in a candy shop. It’s like chef’s heaven to produce fine dining from just one or two miles up the road.”

Marcus, Kirsty and Matt outside the Eskdale Inn - Pic: Richard Ponter

Marcus said: “The food they create here is second to none. We’re really pleased to be working with them. We’re going to grow together.”

Marcus Boxshall-Smith from the Eskdale Inn