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09.01.03      
Cream of Cornish tea

A Cornish family has taken the pioneering step of planting a commercial tea garden on their estate and expects to pluck their first crop of tea in 2005.

With the benefit of Objective One funding, a feasibility study along with a staff-training programme will be undertaken to exploit the opportunities for the development and marketing of specialist teas and ornamental camellias.

Tea plants (Camellia sinensis) were first planted on a small scale at Tregothnan, one of the largest historic gardens in England, in 1999. Now the plantation is being extended to several hectares and the sale of the whole crop is being negotiated with selected London tea connoisseurs.

Head gardener, Jonathon Jones, is studying the genus Camellia for his Nuffield scholarship. Camellia sinensis is an attractive shrub or small tree, with glossy dark green, elliptic leaves and small, slightly fragrant white flowers.

The estate has been home to the Boscawen family since 1300 and camellias were first cultivated outdoors here more than 100 years ago. These are thought to be the first planting of Camellia in the open in British gardens, as prior to this they were grown only in glasshouses.

Contact Gillian Clark on 01626 890405.

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Editor's notes:

 

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388

jason@dclark.co.uk

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