Both Christine and Didier’s families have been growing the much-loved Jersey Royals for four generations. Didier’s parents came over from France in 1949 to work on a farm, fell in love with the island and decided to stay. They bought their own farm ‘Manor Farm’ in 1978 and it has been in the family ever since. Experts in their ‘field’, the couple celebrate nature on their land and have created a separate area exclusively for wildlife, encouraging owls to nest by putting up boxes in the quiet areas.
Throughout the year the Hellios grow a range of seasonal vegetables, but Jersey Royals are their pride and joy. With so much care and dedication, the growing period is always stressful with uncontrollable variables such as weather and staffing getting in the way. The extremely long hours and manual labour also takes its toll, but Christine says that when you see (and taste!) what you have grown, all the hard work is worth it.
The local community is very important to them at Manor Farm, Christine & Didier welcome schools and nurseries onto the land, to explore vegetables and the growing process. With it being such a small community, honesty boxes and stalls at the farm are the norm for locals meaning they can shop directly from the source.
With 2020 being a difficult and unexpected year for all, Christine was extremely proud of her team and the way everyone at the farm pulled together and supported each other to ensure the Jersey Royals met demands.
Farming is never easy, but Christine and Didier love this way of life. Producing good quality food, grown with the best farming practice possible is every farmer’s dream and they both agree that there’s nothing else they would rather be doing. Manor Farm will be around for many years to come, so do pop by and check it out when in Jersey.
The family tradition is to prepare Jerseys freshly boiled with a very large knob of butter on the top. Let them rest for 5 mins then serve. Yummy!! When Christine and Didier’s children come home from London, the family celebrates with a delicious Jersey Lobster salad and boiled Jersey Royals with a garlic French dressing over the top – and a very large glass of white wine.