'Its an honour', said this year's holder of horticulture's most coveted trophy, the Golden Bay Leaf. And the Norfolk based grower says he attributes his success to sheer scale. "With two thousand acres under parsley alone, plus the capacity to make the UK self sufficient in chervil by 2015, we use crop dusting planes, industrial harvesters and anti slug explosive devices to make sure we produce more aromatics than all our competitors put together."
He continued: 'People see this sort of growing as a small scale, dainty process, suitable for girls wearing embroidered aprons and carrying wicker baskets, singing folk songs, while tiny mammals look on, smiling. I'm all about chunky four wheel drive vehicles, check shirts, shot guns, loud country music, and rosemary as far as the eye can see, as well as humane but traditional methods of slaughter. Our Diss processing plant can be smelled as far away as Kings Lynn and our new basil method means we will soon have control of the lucrative European Pesto Market."
Oddly though, Herb Farmer magazine reported that its Herb Farmer of the Year is unmoved by jokes about his name. 'It never really occurred to me,' Farmer said. 'With tarragon prices rising every day, we don't have much time for puns.'