Riverford Wicked Leeks

blooming brussels + early turkeys

As we drift towards winter and start pulling our woollies and fleeces out of the wardrobe, it’s not long before our thoughts turn towards Christmas. You may think it is still a little early, but for us, thoughts of the festive period started months ago, as we planned what crops we’d need to have ready to load your tables come Christmas Day.

Sprouts are always one of the most important veg at this time of year and it would be almost unforgiveable if we didn’t get them to you, so we’re always watching their progress (and the weather) a little anxiously. Thankfully it’s been good news so far; when our team visited the crop the other day the plants were looking really strong with healthy ‘buttons’ (the farming term for the sprouts themselves) more or less all round. Do you steam, boil or stir-fry yours? Whatever cooking method you use, it is important not to overcook them, which will render them grey and soft. I’ve looked it up and apparently overcooking releases a chemical called Sinigrin, which has a sulphur-like smell and is often the reason many people don’t like them. We’ve some great recipes on our website which will help you make sure this definitely does not happen to you! To get you tempted, how do crisp Brussels sprouts with pine nuts and balsamic vinegar sound, or perhaps a Brussels sprouts and bacon gratin?

Meanwhile our organic red cabbage is in from our local grower Duncan Janaway. It’s a real winter favourite with many great recipes to go with those winter dishes. It makes a great pickle too; try the red cabbage and red onion relish on our website.

For the first time, as well as the traditional Christmas birds, this year we are also selling turkeys for Thanksgiving (24th November), as we’ve often had requests for them in the past. The majority of our turkeys are reared on organic pasture by Ed Walters, whose family has been farming turkeys in Hampshire for over 35 years. They are Kelly Bronze birds, a slow-growing breed that reaches full maturity naturally. If you’d like to get a Thanksgiving turkey order in, they’ll be available for delivery from 18th-26th November, and for Christmas we’ll be delivering 17th-24th December. They come in a range of sizes, from small to XXL, if you’re feeding an army on Christmas Day, we’ve just what you need!

Gordon Twigg