a happy farmer

After a wonderful spell of dry, bright weather, which has allowed us to keep on top of the sowing and planting, we now have some welcome rain. The grey, leaden skies and moist soil are ideal for removing the crop covers, allowing the freshly exposed plants to acclimatise gently without moisture stress. The uncovered lettuce, rocket, spinach, radish, cabbage and kohl rabi all look fantastic;lush and healthy, if a little weedy, and will help us to keep imports out of the boxes over the next few weeks.

Help

Good spring crops combined with many of the winter crops having run late due to a cold winter has meant that the hungry gap, when we normally struggle to fill the boxes, is less pronounced than usual. It also means that we are very busy and struggling to keep up; not a position we like to be in so early in the season. A few crops have been wasted simply because we did not have the time to harvest them

and some of the weeds are getting away from us. We are looking for a few more people to help in the fields from now through to the end of November. Unfortunately we cannot offer accommodation. For details ring Martin on 01803762046 or e-mail: lizzieflood-page@riverford.co.uk.

Dodgy Organic Meat

The Soil Association took a very unfair roasting in the media last week because an investigative journalist had found a number of rogue butchers and farmers market traders selling meat which was fraudulently claimed to be organic. All but one (who had only committed a relatively minor infringement) were not registered with the Soil Association so it seemed ridiculous to hold them responsible. If someone tells you their produce is organic I would urge you to ask who has certified it, when and how. Do not be fobbed off with evasive answers; organic has a legal definition. Either it is, or it isn