May

Wednesday 30th May 2012

Summer has finally shown up and your boxes will soon be bountiful and varied…but not yet; the stuff has to grow first. By June we should be seeing the start of many new season crops like strawberries, beans, carrots, and summer cabbage, but as most are running two weeks late, our carefully laid plans have been blown apart. The sun... continued

Monday 28th May 2012

Last week on my way to our French farm, I accompanied my brother to a wine fair featuring producers who use a minimum of additives, particularly sulphites. Non-organic winemakers often liberally use this hangover-inducing preservative to stabilise their products. Having sniffed, swilled and mostly spat our way round, we met a Spanish winemaker who added no sulphites at all. His... continued

Monday 21st May 2012

The mild, damp climate of the UK seems incongruous with growing a characteristically Mediterranean crop such as garlic, and with good reason. Unlike in France and Spain where months of unbroken, hot weather allows farmers to dry their garlic crops in open fields, attempting such a practice here would most likely give disappointing results. The answer is instead to either... continued

Thursday 10th May 2012

My father stopped keeping sheep 50 years ago, claiming, “They just keep finding new ways to die”. After three years of growing veg in France amid hail, Botrytis fungus and deluge, I’m feeling the same about peppers. Last week a break in the weather finally allowed us to plant them out, but within hours most had collapsed, blasted by a... continued

Thursday 3rd May 2012

I am an omnivorous veg obsessive whose heart quickens at the sight of cabbages and chillies. However I have a pig-obsessed father, a butcher brother and two other cow-keeping siblings, so Riverford has always been a mixed if not predominantly livestock farm. Both here and on other farms like ours, animals have their place. It would be very difficult to... continued