Riverford Wicked Leeks

planting progress

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 cauliflowers, leeks, cabbages etc. July is the month when all these crops have to be planted for harvest from October right through to next April. A few days delay in planting in July can make a huge difference to the size of the crop or the date it will be ready to harvest, so if it is dry, we will be out there from dawn to dusk feeding the plants in to that planter. The job requires dexterity but has a kind of mindless rhythm that liberates the mind and makes it possible to do long days. The biggest torture is to ask someone to count the plants. Once you have started you cannot stop.

Last Saturday about 90 box scheme customers joined us for the normal farm tour plus, on this occasion, lunch. The idea was to try and work out what service and type of food we should offer in the Field Kitchen when it is completed next month. Despite some fairly grim weather the day was a great success, so I feel more confident that it will not simply be a monument to the folly of a vegetable obsessed farmer.

There will be no grand opening. Instead the plan is to be open on a limited basis this autumn, mainly for schools and box customers, in order to establish what we can do well and what visitors enjoy. Last Saturday was heavily over subscribed so I thought it would be a good idea to let you know now that we will be doing the same sort of thing every other Saturday through September (4th and 18th) and October (2nd and 16th) You can book to come on any of these days either; arriving at 11 for a morning tour and late lunch or arriving at 12 for a 12.15 lunch followed by an afternoon tour. The tours are very relaxed, including a trailer ride and offering a chance to see the crops and to pick some of your favourites to take home. Children are very welcome and seem to enjoy the experience. For a tour including a wonderful lunch there will be a small charge,