welcome rain, flowery salads + position vacant

As I write, it’s all across the news that the recent rain has brought an end to the driest March and April for a long time. At this stage we are not aware of any lasting damage as we’ve been able irrigate the ‘critical’ veg (really thirsty crops like lettuces and radishes) in most cases, but it is nonetheless very welcome. As with most weather-related issues, we will not know the full effect until the crops we have planted over the last month come to be harvested over the summer.  A friend of mine near Oxford had to apply over three inches of water before the moisture around his potato crop was at the right level, which is a good indication of how much we need to balance out our recent dry period. On the plus side, the rain will have brought on a flush of weeds, so we can now hoe them away all at once while the crops are still small and less vulnerable to damage by the cultivating equipment. This will, in turn, release a little bit of nitrogen in the soil, giving the crops an extra boost.

Those of you who ordered a ‘favourites’ box last week will have seen chive flowers included. I was unsure about this new addition at first, but having tried a few I was pleasantly surprised at their sweet, mild oniony taste; they go best in salads, whole or chopped. They are not going to make a regular appearance however, but keep an eye out as we will include them in the boxes a little over the summer.  Of course, if you don’t manage to harvest your own chives before they go to flower, try it yourself.

are we looking for you?
I am on the hunt for a sales development manager to come and join me at Upper Norton Farm here in Hampshire, so if you have a passion for our veg as well as a strong end-customer sales and business background, this role may be for you. The position is one of the key links between the farm and our team of vegmen/ladies who do all of your deliveries, so we need someone creative, resilient and driven to help strengthen the box distribution side of the Riverford business. For a full job description, go to www.riverford.co.uk/jobs.

James MacGregor, General Manager