Donald Watts was a man that did things properly. From mucking out pigs to pulling rhubarb and planting strawberries he’d nearly always be seen in a shirt and tie. He made a great success of Watts Farm and, in fact, became colloquially known as the Kent King of Rhubarb.
Donald’s wife, Joan, would sell much of the produce by the side of the road and eventually went on to run a green grocer’s shop in Pet’s Wood.
Avril, one of Donald’s and Joan’s daughters, took over the farm when her father died. She started trialling some herbs such as parsley and coriander. This was a new departure as very few farmers were growing herbs and London restaurants were in need of them. It was the start of an exciting speciality…
Joe Cottingham joined the farm in 2000. He continued to expand their range and raised the farm’s productivity by introducing a wide range improvements. His efforts were rewarded in 2008 when he was named Young Grower of the Year, aged just 34.
Today Watts Farm grows over 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, salads and herbs. Their interest in and development of chillies has meant that they are one of the UK’s largest chilli growers!