April

Wednesday 25th April 2012

Here in Devon the reservoirs are full, the river is topping its banks, our fields are sodden and planting has ground to halt. The crops that are already in the ground are lapping it up, especially the leafy brassicas, but this should be our busiest time for planting. With a current backlog of 250,000 plants, we’ll have a gap when... continued

Thursday 19th April 2012

As the months of hearty roots and greens give way to our spring crops, the appearance of asparagus is the definitive symbol of change. For the last few weeks it has been coming from our grower Pepe in Spain, as a warm up before the UK season, which has happily just arrived. But why is it so revered? Its tenderness,... continued

Thursday 12th April 2012

With cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, leeks and greens coming to an end in the fields and the stores rapidly emptying of roots, local veg is getting scarce. As there are still three or four weeks to go before we cut our first spring-planted lettuce or spinach, we are approaching the depths of the ‘hungry gap’. Until relatively recently the alternative... continued

Wednesday 4th April 2012

While on my knees harvesting a particularly weed-ridden crop of spinach this morning, it occurred to me that a relatively small quantity of noxious chemical last autumn would have made the job a lot easier. I am not an organic dogmatist or a Luddite; good chemistry combined with sound ecological understanding and scientific humility could help us grow safe food... continued