Background on David and his business
Stevens Farm was originally owned by David’s grandparents, however it only became a working farm when he took it over in 1971. The original ‘farm’ was a pair of cottages on a country estate that had an orchard of 2.5 acres, planted to supply the big house. During the war, all food sources had to be utilised, so David’s family had to start looking after the orchard. The family apple growing business grew from there.
Married with two children, David works alongside his son Richard, who is hoped will one day takeover the business.
The farm comprises approximately 500 acres of combinable crops and 115 of largely apples. He grows a wide variety of apples, including Bramley, Cox and Gala and has selected them to ensure, as best as possible. a succession of crops to harvest.
Despite growing apples David is not a great fan of them himself, however he does supply his fruits to a local school on a regular basis, where apparently the Cameo apple has proven to be a firm favourite with children.
David first started growing Cameo back in 1997, when he decided to add it to his apple growing business because it naturally followed on, in picking terms, from other variants he was already producing.
He started out with just 500 trees and has increased this over time to 14,000. He hopes to produce around 200 tons of Cameo this year which will be largely sold through Sainsbury’s but will also be available in Morrisons.
What is the beauty of Cameo over its rivals?
David refers to Cameo as ‘The thinking man’s Gala’ because it has many of the same qualities as Gala apples but is better in terms of its flavour.
He also believes the beauty of Cameo is how well it retains its flavour and crunchiness compared to its rivals. David even goes as far to say that no other apple comes close in terms of taste during the Cameo season.