February

Tuesday 5th May 2015

February is a great month for spreading muck. Any earlier and there is a danger of winter rain leaching nutrients beyond the reach of plant roots. Any later and the nutrients will not be available to encourage the first spring growth. With plenty of dry and frosty weather allowing the laden spreaders to travel, the farm has been pretty smelly... continued

Thursday 24th February 2011

In my last newsletter, I put on my cynical, devil’s advocate hat and had a bit of a pop at the WWF’s Livewell diet so I’ll keep things a little lighter this time - meatball light. I’ve been a big fan of meatballs for years. They are great in wraps and pittas, curries, soups and pasta sauces, and make superb... continued

Thursday 24th February 2011

As we come to the end of probably the worst winter I have known (yes, even worse than last year), we can start to draw a line under the devastation in its wake. There have been quite a few write offs, namely purple sprouting broccoli and cauliflower. And never before have we spent so much time trying to keep potatoes... continued

Thursday 24th February 2011

In case you are one of the “fettucine-eating chattering classes” described in the Telegraph last week, I would like to assure you that you will not be deprived of your purple sprouting broccoli for much longer. The story ran that cold weather was depriving this group of their newly adopted preferred greenery. As with the growers in the article, our... continued

Thursday 17th February 2011

I am writing this in a bar in the Vendée, taking refuge in a mid-morning Ricard from the deluge that has stopped planting for the day, with even the light sandy soils of our French farm becoming too sticky to work on. Despite being only 250 or so miles south of Devon and only marginally warmer, the famous Vendée light... continued

Thursday 10th February 2011

The carrot industry excels at growing and selling cheap and cosmetically perfect roots. But the major casualty in this is flavour. There is no place for smaller growers, imperfect soils or a carrot that has suffered any degree of damage, is lower in yield, inconsistent in shape or lacks the robustness to stand up to the mechanical handling essential to... continued

Wednesday 9th February 2011

The Livewell diet: and so say all of us, but I think the World Wildlife Fund’s attempt to remove the confusion and difficult questions from the whole sustainable and healthy diet debate (www.wwf.org.uk/livewell2010) is a little over-simplistic and unrealistically ambitious. Not surprisingly tiger, panda and rhino don’t feature highly on the menu. It is well known that we should cut... continued