News - 2004

Monday 10th May 2010

Sprout harvesters will have been rumbling across the fens night and day for the last fortnight, gobbling up rows of perfect sprouts, stripping them from the stalks, passing them through a cyclone, which sucks off the debris before allowing the tight little buds to feed into a hopper. Unfortunately such... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

The planning time is nearing an end and the nervous excitement of the first box leaving the farm is starting to infect all of us at River Nene. Time has absolutely flown by since the seed of River Nene Organic vegetables was sown back in the Spring, as we... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

A few people have asked why I so rarely mention fruit in the newsletter. The reason is that my scribblings tend to be inspired by what is going on around the farm and we grow very little of the fruit ourselves. We do grow our own soft fruit and have... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

For many years I have been a big fan of Radio Four's Food and Farming programs. Derek Cooper, who retired as presenter of the food program a couple of years ago, is in my book up there with John Peel as one of the all time greats of British broadcasting.... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

Many years ago, about this time of year, I picked my London and Northumbria raised, wife to be, up from the Paddington train at Totnes station. I took the scenic route expecting her to be impressed by the scenery, only to hear her sigh as she gazed out of the... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

Over thirty inches of rain will fall between now and the 1st of April. There will be periods of cold but it is the rain, and the resulting mud, that makes Devon's winters a challenge. Because we pick all the non-root vegetables fresh each day, we still have to get... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

As the summer and autumn crops are cleared we are sowing green manures to protect the soil and conserve the nutrients through the winter. Though air temperatures are dropping quickly, the soil is at its warmest and most active in the autumn. This means that all the invertebrates and microbes... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

It looks as if we will close the year delivering very nearly twice as many boxes each week as we did at the start. This has more than made up for the business we lost this summer when Sainsburys and Waitrose abandoned the company we supplied them through. We are... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

The recent warm and sunny weather has been wonderful for ripening the sweetcorn and squash. It is a race against time to get them ripe before the first frost which can be expected any time in early October. Both crops love calm, sunny weather but the flavour of the corn... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

Going back a generation or two, when most of the farms in our parish were owned by the Church of England, it was said that the cider would pay the rent. Each farm was surrounded by orchards and would have it's own mill, press and cellars for storing and maturing... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

Calabrese. Broccoli (or calabrese as growers and Italians call it) is normally a pretty easy crop, provided it has enough muck and water, and is one that our co-op members like growing. It is also one of the few green vegetables that almost all children like and quite a few of... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

We are ducking between the showers to get the last of the spring greens planted and to start harvesting our onions and potatoes. As we pass the equinox and start the descent into Winter I have given up hope of the heralded "Indian Summer". The worst thing about the rain... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

As part of ongoing developments here, we have slightly redesigned 'this week's box' along with the extras list so that it's all part of the same thing. which means the paper work is all in one place for you to pick out of your box once a month. We also... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

The boxes are looking great with most crops in abundance giving a wealth of choice from which to select the best contents each week. The french bean picking machine has been working beautifully and has hardly been sworn at at all. There will be plenty of beans, french and runner... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

The first of our French and runner beans are finally ready and will be in the larger boxes this week and all the boxes next week, and there should be plenty over the next few weeks. We have machine which, on a good day, will pick the French beans automatically... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

A few people have been asking, "where are the French and runner beans?". The answer is that they, like most people thinking of a camping holiday, are waiting for some decent weather. Apart from the broad variety, all beans like steamy hot weather and there hasn't been much of that... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

We are just about managing to keep up with our planting in between the down-pours. The new plants certainly appreciate the rain to settle them in and help them get their roots out. No sooner has the yard been cleared when another lorry roles in with tens of thousands more... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

We have our normal international, eclectic bunch of workers out in the fields this summer including, for the forth time, a group of Ugandan organic farmers working and studying here. This connection has developed from a friendship with Timothy Njakasi and his wife Joyce who I met when Timothy was... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

After no significant rain for two months, a low swept up the channel last night and dumped two and a half inches on us. The ground gratefully sucked it up as if it was a light shower and is still thirsty for more. It looks as if we will get... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

This week sees the first of the new season Riverford carrots back in the small and mini boxes, they will be in all the boxes during the next couple of weeks. Riverford works very hard with Andy Hayllor, one of our co-op members, to ensure that they are planted as... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

Bakers will now be unavailable until the new season starts in July. There has been a price increase in the 2kg bag of potatoes to... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

You may notice a couple of changes to the extras for this month. We have added strawberries (... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

As it continues to heat up and this seasons produce starts to come through in bountiful amounts, look out for extras to but to compliment the boxes. Every week you can add a salad box to your order (... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

If all had gone to plan our restaurant would have been open in July. As it is, it will have walls and a roof but we still have a good month of work finishing it off. To help get a feeling of what sort of food to serve and how... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

We finished harvesting purple sprouting broccoli about a month ago and have now been bust preparing the ground for this year... continued

Monday 10th May 2010

When we sat down for discussion of what to out in the boxes this week it was a question of what we could leave out rather than what we would have to buy in to make a good box. The hungry gap is definitely over so there will be no... continued