January

Friday 28th January 2011

With Valentine’s Day approaching and steak being the order of the day, the quandary of what to serve with it got me ruminating on when a sauce becomes a jus becomes a gravy. Purists would argue that a sauce is a separate concoction, added at serving. Cut and dry examples like Béarnaise or the Riverford retro stilton sauce would support... continued

Thursday 27th January 2011

With continuing cold weather holding back growth, combined with some crop losses from the extreme cold before Christmas, we are very short of homegrown greens, forcing us to import more than we would like at this time of year. We have plenty of roots in store and there will be purple sprouting broccoli, spring greens, cauliflower and leeks to come... continued

Monday 24th January 2011

It is about this time of year that doubt surfaces and I have to resist ‘what’s the point?’ becoming my standard response. Everything is questioned, including organics. Can it feed the world? Is it really sustainable financially? Has it had its day? It is easier to see a place, and a future, for real primary organic products like beef, lamb... continued

Monday 24th January 2011

2011 – here we come. With the chaos caused by the cold weather before Christmas, I can’t remember whether we are in a recession or not, but double dip is for hobnobs and other biscuits so let’s just get on with it. We all need to eat. However, value for money must be high on everyone’s agenda. It is difficult... continued

Thursday 20th January 2011

The November-sown broad beans have finally emerged at the tail end of a soggy January, having stayed subterranean through a frigid December. Things are quiet in the fields while we wait for the remaining leeks, swedes and cabbages to start growing again. A team left for France last weekend to plant lettuce and cabbages on our farm in the Vendée... continued

Thursday 20th January 2011

2008 was the first year of growing in our polytunnels. The soil had been in conversion (from conventional to organic) for three years and by the time we started cropping we had enough nitrogen, fixed by the clover, to feed the hungriest of crops. As a result we had very good yields of basil and mini cucumbers. Despite the fertile... continued

Thursday 20th January 2011

It’s a relief to have some let-up from the ice and snow. What with vans getting stuck, leeks freezing into the ground and pipes that took until the new year to defrost, I really hope that was it for this winter. The temperature range was very dramatic, going from -15°C to +9°C in two weeks, which can have a big... continued

Thursday 20th January 2011

The resolutions may be broken, but there is still time for a bit of optimism. Apparently the country is officially coming out of the recession. And I hope, with a bit of luck, so is our industry. I was recently asked how the recession had affected farming, which threw me for a while. I think we have been in one... continued

Thursday 13th January 2011

The Marmite of the vegetable world is back. We know we will never convert you all to these knobbly roots, but if you have never tasted Jerusalem artichokes, now is the time to give them a go. They are a farmer’s dream: easy to grow, with no significant pests or diseases. In fact, the biggest challenge is keeping them under... continued

Thursday 6th January 2011

I hope some of you have enjoyed our organic meat over the holidays. Previously we only offered it for Christmas but the full range is now available for home delivery all year round. You can choose a box with set contents (for the best value – saving around 10% on the individual items) or pick whatever you like from the... continued

Thursday 6th January 2011

The frost is finally out of the ground and the last ice has melted from the reservoirs. On close inspection many of the savoys and other green cabbages, which looked fine on the outside, are breaking down further in; a few went out last week before we spotted this. As always, if you feel aggrieved, let us know and we... continued

Wednesday 29th December 2010

I hope you are well rested, well fed and full of good intentions for healthy living in 2011. We will be doing all we can to help you turn those intentions into action. For years now the nation has been talking about seasonal cooking; I am hoping 2011 will be the year when aspirations in the media are reflected by... continued