Montag, 9. März 2009

Riverford, Devon

A while ago I participated in a recipe competition by Riverford Home Deliveries, the people we are getting our lovely organic veg boxes from each week. My recipe for Oriental Swedes (to be posted on this site soon) was shortlisted as the finalist for our regional farm (Stockley)! Actually, this gave me the incentive to start this blog :-). Anyway, we just had to go down to Devon to the original Riverford farm for the grand finale. So we did. We drove down on Thursday, and oh, it is so beautiful down there! They had put us up for a night in a cosy B&B in Buckfastleigh, Killbury Manor. It was a wonderful place to stay, with doggies for our DD and the river Dart just behind the house. We had a nice room in the refurbished barn. We took a walk by the river where daffodills and Schneeglöckchen were in bloom and the dark waters were gurgling away. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Next morning over the leisurely and yummy breakfast we met the other finalists, and then drove to the farm. I had always been in two minds about Riverford, mainly because I thought they were a bit over-styled for organic, and because of the size of their business. But I‘ve always found Guy Watson‘s newsletters really thought-provoking and right up my street. And here he was, a real farmer rather than a business man. The field kitchen is a wonderful light structure, and the chef, Jane Baxter, and her staff, were already cooking away. We were shown around the fields and the sheds were the boxes are packed, the cold houses and all. Yeah, it is a business, but it is so inspiring to hear Guy talk frankly about his principles, the compromises, the mistakes and successes, and above all to hear him talk about his plants as if they were his best friends. We got to pick our own salad leaves (which were delicious as a salad but I tried stir-frying them, which wasn‘t so succesful). Lunch was a menu with all the competition finalist recipes along with pork for the carnivores and some nice dessert. The flaked almonds in my recipe should have been toasted separately rather than just mixed in with the veg, but never mind. Everybody was so nice and it was just a lovely meal. No, I did not win, but the whole thing was just a great experience. I am a complete convert – if we could afford, I would get all we need from them… All of us got a certificate, a signed copy of the Riverford Farm Cookbook, a bag and a black Riverford Field Kitchen apron – which I am wearing very proudly around the kitchen now!
Find out more about them or order one of their boxes here:

1 Kommentar:

  1. Hello! Celeriac and fennel bake girl here! I thought I'd have a look for your cookery blog as you mentioned it over breakfast on Friday!

    We just finished the last of our salad leaves. I enjoyed the mustard leaves but found the dandelions just a little too bitter.

    Anyway, I'm off to investigate your other recipes. Bye!