Salad greens nearly ready for planting at Trill Farm, Devon. [Photo: Trill Farm]

FARM TO FORK: April 2013

15 April, 2013

The cold weather continued throughout March and is now set to stay with us until mid April, so progress in the garden has been relatively slow.

However, the propagating tunnel is full of plants which will require planting over the next month.This will mean cultivating and planting thousands of plants in a relatively short time and once this starts work begins to get a little manic. Longer day length also means longer working days.

I’ve finally got round to purchasing a weather station which will collect information about all of the basic weather measurements and upload it to a computer. So from now on I can indulge you all in my slight obsession with the weather.

Let’s talk about the weather

Growers are often innately engrossed in the weather as was proved at a recent meeting with other members of the Organic Growers Alliance. Weather facts and figures were being thrown about willy nilly. Rather than continually moaning about the weather it feels good to be able to now provide solid data to back up my moans.

I imagine this is a geeky obsession that few others will be interested in, but as so often happens with such obsessions I will nonetheless endeavour to bore you with our weather facts in future updates.

 The Organic Growers Alliance is a collection of growers across the UK who share experiences and  as a group have a voice to represent organic horticulture. It is a great resource for newcomers to growing and the combined knowledge of its members is used to produce a great journal which consists of technical articles along with organic news and other information related to organic horticulture.

It is important to feel a part of something and be in solidarity with others who are often experiencing the same joys and woes. The generosity of other growers who are so willing to share their knowledge is great, unlike so many other businesses who may regard this sharing as a chance for competitors to glean information about how their rivals work.

The organic movement has always had a strong ethical and moral code at the heart of it and is a strong community, and this still seems to be the case.

Drying out

Anyway, back to the weather.

Although it has been cold it has also been dry and windy, which has meant that the soil is drying out well. As I write this we have had a wonderfully sunny day and sown the second batch of broad beans along with radish, turnips and spinach all direct outside.

The lettuce, spring onions and beetroot are all hardening off outside ready for planting. We will continue planting chard, onions and shallots amongst other things through April and perhaps get our new tunnel up by month’s end.

Foraged greens

Still not much in the garden but in the woods there is a delicate green carpet of wood sorrel to pick! Try gathering some for yourself and making this fantastic frittata.

Wood sorrel with it’s distinctive heart shaped leaves is abundant right now – it’s high in vitamin C and has a distinctive slightly bitter flavour. [Photo: Trill Farm]

Wood sorrel frittata

  • 8 eggs
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 oz (25g) hard  sheep’s cheese
  • 1 oz (25g) butter
  • 2 large handfuls wood sorrel


1 Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 5.

2 Break the eggs into a bowl add salt and black pepper and whisk well with a fork. And stir in the wood sorrel. Grate the cheese.

3 Melt the butter in a flat pan and pour in the egg mixture. 

4 Cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes, or until the sides begin to set, pull the sides into the middle and cook for a further 30 seconds.  Transfer to the oven and cook for 10  minutes or until set and golden.

Remove from the oven, scatter over the cheese and serve. Serves 4.


  • Trill Farm Garden is a three-acre plot on the farm managed organically by Ashley Wheeler and Kate Norman.  The garden supplies Trill Farm – which is owned by Neal’s Yard Remedies founder Romy Fraser – as well as local restaurants and Ash & Kate’s market stall in Lyme Regis. Daphne Lambert runs the farm’s kitchen turning seasonal produce into delicious meals.