October

Tuesday 5th May 2015

We are best known for our veg but, since my father took on the tenancy in 1951, Riverford has been predominately a livestock farm. That is largely dairy cows now, though my parents kept sheep and poultry and my father indulged a lifelong obsession with pigs, which lost him money for 40 years. My brother Ben, the butcher in the... continued

Friday 28th October 2011

Swede could be described as the black sheep of the veg family. It has neither the showboat prettiness of romanesco or asparagus, nor the plain Jane necessity of onions or garlic, so it often ends up a victim of pigeonholing, and is left rolling around the bottom of the fridge if the Sunday roast gets skipped that week. However, to... continued

Thursday 20th October 2011

I am on our farm in the Vendée region of France, picking the last of the peppers and chillies and planning the crops for next year. The peppers recovered well after the wet July and August when over half of the fruit rotted on the plants, but they will certainly make a loss. The waste is heartbreaking and local advisors... continued

Thursday 6th October 2011

As autumn finally seems to be settling itself in after a nice bonus bit of sunshine last week, our thoughts are turning to Christmas veg. Overall it’s been a forward year, best illustrated by the fact that we’re cutting cauliflowers now, when normally they are not ready until the end of October, or through November. They are really good quality... continued

Wednesday 5th October 2011

A run of warm, dry, sunshine is lifting our spirits, bringing on the autumn crops and helping us harvest in perfect conditions; I’m almost a happy farmer. We’ve even had a last flush of sweetcorn from crops that we thought would never make it and had written off. There is a nagging worry that it is so glorious that the... continued

Wednesday 5th October 2011

I always seem to be talking about the seasons, but I suppose that’s what farming is all about. The autumn equinox began on the 23rd September, when we had equal day and night hours, so the nights have now started drawing in. The next event is when British Summertime ends and the clocks go back. It’s supposedly done for farmers,... continued

Wednesday 28th September 2011

If you’ve been stumped by squash in the past, it’s time to look beyond the soup and get to know the potential of these tubby fellows. Their quirky looks alone are enough to get you inspired, from Crown Prince with its washed-blue skin and rich orange flesh, through to the extraordinary Turk’s Turban, which looks a bit like it got... continued