Every year a team of willing volunteers helps us with the rose picking. This year we spent a hot July day in amongst the fragrant roses, surrounded by the insects, the birds and the fields and rolling hills of rural East Sussex. We are hugely grateful for everyone's involvement, their hard work and positive, helpful presence makes the whole experience such a joyful communal activity, full of laughter and connection. We asked each of our rose pickers why for them this is such a special event.
We pick around 200 roses or more, working our way up and down the scented rows of flowers in shades of the most beguiling pink.
"I love the experience of picking roses in the asapoth garden as I feel picking each delicate flower connects me to all the women who have grafted this kind of work before me. I love the opportunity to share stories, laugh and empty our bountiful baskets on to the table and step back adoringly at the high plump piles of full bloomed rose petals.
It is my own mini heaven..."
"I'm so very lucky to work for such a wonderful company .. I don't just count their pennies I get to pick gorgeous flowers too!"
"A beautiful day, feet planted in the earth, embraced by the Downs in the company of magnificent women."
Michelle McKenna and Suzanne Harding
"My friend Suzanne was coming to Lewes on a visit, I used my upcoming birthday to cajole her into coming to Ashurst Farm to have a experience that would be difficult to find in London town. We arrived for the second shift feeling very professional we headed out with our specially designed satchels and our factor 50 to the blistering heat to pick the heads of gorgeous orange calendula. There is something satisfying about doing something that as a child would have got you into BIG trouble. In between picking, for breaks we would return to the barn for cake energy replenishments, and to cool off we got to plant our faces into piles of fresh cool rose petals! The plucking off the individual calendula petals created a raucous mood. Back out for some camomile picking. After a couple of hours of mirth we left through a curtain of freshly picked clary sage. The best birthday treat I have had for years."
"Complete escapism, I felt I could have been anywhere in time or place.
An absolute joy!"
So an enormous thank you to all of our wonderful rose pickers!
If you are interested in getting involved in any of our flower picking or farm work work please contact us. We'd love to meet you!