News from the herb field: April

Monday 15 April 2019

The season has well and truly started for our Herb Field Manager Sarah. The cutting back, pruning and last of the root harvesting has been done and new shoots are coming through. The first of our leafy fresh orders has been sent out, and Sianne and Rach our fantastic seasonal workers are back weeding, dividing and sowing. Read more from Sarah below. 

"It's been a very dry winter which has been good for root harvesting but has meant that I was watering out in the herb field in March which is unheard of!

Due to the ever increasing demand for Elder flower and Elderberries, and Hawthorn flower and Hawthorn berries, we have planted a medicinal orchard in the top corner of the herb field. It will be a while before we get much of a harvest from them, but it will be lovely watching them grow and flourish.

This time of year is all about getting beds ready and propagation. We’ve directly sown Calendula, Borage and Burdock out in the herb field, and the poly tunnel is quickly filling up with plug trays of various other herbs, such as; Feverfew, Marshmallow, Valerian and Echinacea to name but a few. The germination rate from the seeds we saved from the herb field last year has been fantastic so far which we’re very pleased about. 

We save seed from the herb field every year for our own use as it’s really hard to source organic or Biodynamic seed. Last year we saved a lot more seed than usual as the hot weather made it an especially good year for seed saving - saving seed for over 30 different varieties of herbs. By growing more plants specifically to save their seed, we're also take practical steps to help build resilience in our food system by using and sharing local seed that is well adapted to local climate and soils.

Our annual delivery of 10 tonnes of green waste compost has arrived. We use this as a top dressing on the beds as it is hot composted and weed seed free - whereas the compost we make is more nutritious but will have weed seeds in. We form the beds, put one layer of our home made compost down, and then a layer of the brought-in green waste compost on top, before planting into it.

Last year we harvested a grand total of 3500.00kg of herbs from the field! These were either sent straight out for fresh orders or chopped and dried in our herb dryer for general stock. Let’s hope this is a fantastic growing season and we can harvest even more this year!"

Get in touch to discuss your fresh and dried herbs forecasting and requirements on +44 (0) 1823 401 205 or