warm at last...

The temperature outside has jumped ten degrees and the wind has swung back to the South West. We are up to date with the planting and sowing so the return to our good old warm, damp, Devon weather is very welcome. Our leafy crops are much encouraged and are already sending out new shoots. By next week there should be plenty of greens for the boxes and this should carry on through to the end of April.

Rising Sap

A change in the weather has brought the cock pheasants out, strutting their stuff all over the farm. It could be that they have just twigged that the shooting season is over and they are therefore out of danger but I suspect it is more to do with lust. An orgy of heaving, slimy and occasionally croaking toads have been carrying on all day in the drizzle outside our canteen. They appear to be blissfully oblivious to our attention. I believe the deed can take 24 hours or more.

You will find that the potatoes and onions will sprout fairly quickly now and even the carrots, given a chance, will start growing tiny hairs on their roots in preparation for what would be their final fling of sending up a seed head. They still taste good but are a little dryer than they have been. We will persist with our own carrots until late April, and potatoes through to early May. Then there will be a few weeks of imports before our new season crop is ready. After a run of excellent potatoes we have had a few complaints of late and I must apologise for some bruising (blackening under the skin) recently. I suspect this may have been caused by handling them on those cold mornings, earlier this month, when the low temperature can make them particularly susceptible to bruising.

Riverford Field Kitchen re-opens

Over the winter we have been adding the final touches to our restaurant and will be open for business every Saturday from April 2nd for an 11am tour followed by lunch. We are planning some sort of grand opening at the end of May and will be open most days thereafter. It is one of the conditions of our planning consent that everyone must have booked, so please ring for more details, and to book. Alternatively you can go on line at www.riverford.co.uk. There is not so much to pick at this time of year, but plenty to see and the lunch will be fantastic.

Guy Watson