January was a wet old month (and a long one too) and far too soggy for even our head gardener Penny to venture outside for long - always her preferred option. Read below to see what Penny gets up to on rainy days.
So this time of year is pretty sedentary. You'll find me sat in front of a computer screen, puzzling together a crop plan for the polytunnel and garden. I go through old seed, sort out saved seeds and see what I need to order. I trail through catalogues and chat with our chefs about what they might like to experiment with and put together a plan - this year is more exciting that normal as we have a new head chef arriving shortly, who will come with fresh ideas! I always tend to grow new exciting varieties to see what works and what doesn't, but I also grow veg & herbs that have become classic ingredients in the Riverford Field Kitchen.
There's something quite satisfying about using seeds saved from last season - and we never like to let anything go to waste here. So on the less soggy days, I've ventured outside and planted some elephant garlic and poppy seeds which I had saved. Poppy seed is a favourite garnish in the Riverford Field Kitchen, being used in salads and dressings.
I've also been going through my compost heaps and spreading it onto my beds along with some farmyard manure. This helps improve the structure of the soil and helps with moisture retentiveness and draining too - which is needed after all this rain!
I know it's slightly optimistic but I do feel like Spring is in the air, or at least not far away. What with snowdrops being in flower, emerging daffs and day light hours extending, it all feels imminent.
We planted about 4000 daff bulbs during October. At the time I thought I was mad for planting so many and the air was certainly tinged with a bit of blue! However, now they're beginning to poke their heads up out of the soil, it was definitely worth it - and they're now gracing the tables in the restaurant.
Comments are closed.