Riverford Wicked Leeks

roots + mushrooms (+ pumpkins too!)

I always seem to be talking about the seasons, but I suppose that’s what farming is all about. The autumn equinox began on the 23rd September, when we had equal day and night hours, so the nights have now started drawing in. The next event is when British Summertime ends and the clocks go back. It’s supposedly done for farmers, but personally I hate the dark nights. It was originally campaigned for in 1916 by a builder called William Willett; he has a lot to answer for!

The good news in all this is that it’s time to ‘bring out the roots’, and all their rich, earthy flavours. Parsnips, swede, celeriac and beetroot are all on their way in from the fields, or will be very soon. Add these to wonderful winter greens and there’s no question that soup and casserole season has started, with tempting smells coming from kitchens everywhere. It’s got to be said that nature did a great job designing roots – they are essentially the larder of the world, storing energy as starchy carbohydrates to feed us through the winter months. I don’t think they get the attention they deserve though, perhaps because people don’t always know how to make the most of them. If you’re a bit stuck, take a look at the recipe section of our website for some inspiration, it really is a great resource.

Mushrooms are also underrated in my book, and whilst we’ve always had closed cup and flat varieties on offer, you’ll be able to try out some really flavourful Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms from this week. Perfect timing as it’s our venison season too and they work really well together. I suppose we could forage in the woods for roots and fungus, but I think a delivery to your door is far more convenient.

Gordon Twigg

pumpkin day, saturday 29th october, 11am-4pm, free entry
Join us here on the farm for our big autumn celebration. Carve your own pumpkin, have a go at apple skittles, enjoy some tasty organic food and drink, and take a peek at our Christmas range, all in a family-friendly atmosphere. There will be lots of children’s activities, cookery demos and farm tours, entry is free, all are welcome and there’s no need to book. See our website for more details.