The Curd family have been Market Gardeners in Yalding for at least three generations. Gary's grandfather started with a stall outside his house selling the vegetables and fruit. He grew all the vegetables and picked fruit from huge old apple trees (so high they required 50 stave ladders to reach the top most apples). Trade expanded and together with his brother, they started their own home delivery shopping system using a horse and cart (their customers did not need broadband to shop as the shop stopped outside the house !). Hop pickers were good customers for their Warner King (giant) apples at half a crown a large bag.
Gary's father continued the business by renting 4 acres of glebe land from Yalding Church where he grew all sorts of vegetables and soft fruit. 'It was then I started with my own patch, of which I was very proud¯ says Gary, 'I grew strawberries, beans and many different veg and every night after school I would go down to the allotments, weigh up the veg and lid the strawberries ready for sale..
From the allotments the Curds moved to a 12 acre plot in Yalding. Vegetable and soft fruit growing expanded and the Oakapple Farm shop opened. 'Dad then started growing dahlias and other flowers suitable for drying¯ says Gary, 'Mum created the most amazing decorations with the flowers which filled the shop¯. Gary then bought another 8 acres just along the road and now Oakapple Produce is a holding of 20 acres plus on which is grown an ever widening variety of fruit and veg. Now Lorraine has joined him to continue the family tradition.