Posted: Friday, 14 September, 2018 - 08:40
August/September 2018 News
Although August is generally a quiet month for us in terms of orders, it was busy in other ways as we were (and still are) catching up with jobs delayed by the heat wave/drought. We still have kale, spinach and chard to transplant as well as the last of our outdoor lettuce. We’ve made a start on the onion harvest, but the maincrop is fairly small this year, due in part to the drought. And we’ve been on the big spud harvester a few times but had to go back to picking...
Posted: Monday, 2 July, 2018 - 09:39
We've had a very dry, hot and breezy June, its now just over 4 weeks since we had a lot of rain, when we had localised flooding here in East Kent, that seems an age ago now, but in hindsight we were lucky to get that rain.
Yay for new potatoes, courgettes, beetroot, basil, cucumbers (and tomatoes soon) to fill up our stall at Stoke Newington, Wye and Whitstable Farmer's Markets, as well as onions, kale, spinack, chard, parsley, lettuce and salad leaves.
The current dry spell will star...
Posted: Monday, 11 June, 2018 - 09:21
May gave us plenty of sun (including 2 sunny bank holiday weekends (!!)) and plenty of rain (we prefer it to come more gradually though, we had more than 40mm last Tuesday) so after a slow start, the crops (and the weeds) are growing well. We have to rely on crop covers if we are to feed our customers and not just rabbits, pigeons and rooks though; although this doesn’t always work, we know the rooks are very clever but now they seem to be teaching the rabbits a thing or two! Our recent pl...
Posted: Friday, 18 May, 2018 - 12:53
April gave us a heatwave and then a brief return to winter, let’s hope May is full of spring sun and gentle overnight rain! After a slow start to planting we’re gradually catching up – most of the onion sets are planted, a good amount of the seed potatoes is in the ground and we’ve transplanted our first beds of kale, spinach and chard, as well as indoor and outdoor lettuce. The first sowings of salad and spinach failed due to cold and wet (as they often do) but we’ve sown more and will be sowin...
Posted: Saturday, 3 March, 2018 - 10:25
February gave us a fairly predictable combination of some frosty mornings with cold but sunny days, and some very wet but milder days. We were hoping for a gradual change to spring but then came the news of the sudden stratospheric warming over the north pole, disrupting the jetstream, and bringing an arctic blast our way or 'Beast from the East' as a more catchy description! March 1, the first day of spring, and our staff are walking through snowdrifts, to get the the glasshouse to do...
Posted: Friday, 9 February, 2018 - 14:51
It's great that there is growing awareness and action around reducing food and drink packaging over recent weeks, in a big part due to David Attenborough highlighting the problems caused by plastic pollution in the seas on the recent Blue Planet series.
We've had quite a few enquiries from customers asking about our use of plastic bags (currently made from Low Density Polyethelene (LDPE) for some of our produce (leafy greens mainly) so here's what we're doing.
We've tried compostable/...
Posted: Thursday, 1 February, 2018 - 09:58
January went quickly, a couple of busy harvesting weeks for us, then a couple of quiet weeks, which enabled us to get our seed sowing glasshouse tidied up and start sowing leek seeds. Martin has been ordering seeds for the coming season, always an enjoyable job! It’s amazing to see quite how many vegetables grow from 2 fridges full of seeds (we store our seeds in fridges as they are pest proof and stop the seeds overheating in the summer). More than half of our vegetables are grown from seeds so...
Posted: Friday, 26 January, 2018 - 08:16
Another chance to see Ripple Farm and children from Lady Joanna Thornhill School, Wye and the Beacon school, Folkestone starring in an episode of Ceebeebies 'Down on the farm' The children were real stars considering it was snowing and bitterley cold in the wind. The episode focuses on kale, and the children were involved in harvesting and bunching the kale, and some were happy to taste it raw too!
Presenter JB lives in Kent, and also filmed an episode at Nash Nursery, Ash near Canterbury ear...
Posted: Monday, 15 January, 2018 - 15:57
Martin has started to order seeds, onion sets and seed potatoes for the 2018 growing season, some of our favourite varieties but we're always trying new ones too. Mewanwhile in the fields, we're still harvesting kale, spinach, chard, salad leaves, raddichio, sprouts, leeks, cabbage, kalettes (flower sprouts), parsnips, carrots and swede with potatoes, onions and squash all in store.
New Year’s Winter Veg. Stir Fry - try a seasonal stir-fry, much more interesting than the standard spring...
Posted: Monday, 4 December, 2017 - 09:51
Christmas 2017 and New Year 2018 Arrangements
Veggie box deliveries will happen as normal before Christmas this year, the delivery on Thursday 21 will be last one of 2017, resuming on Thursday January 4.
Canterbury/Whitstable/Faversham/Sheldwich Delivered Thur 21 evening, normal collection times
Velocity/ Canterbury Home Delivery ...
Posted: Friday, 3 November, 2017 - 16:18
We had a lovely sunny afternoon for our 2017 farm walk and welcomed a good crowd of customers and friends, including lots of eager children and dogs. Thanks to all for coming, it's always good for us to put faces to names and we know some of our customers like to come back year after year. Martin loves letting the children loose in the veg fields, the 'big kids' seem to enjoy it to! Squash hunting and chard waving were particularly popular activities and don't tell Martin but Grace thinks he is...
Posted: Monday, 30 October, 2017 - 16:05
We’ve now finished harvesting our squash for winter storage, they like to be stored at 10 degrees – the squash store will be the warmest place on the farm for most of the coming months! The potato shed is fairly full this year - we have 'Valor', 'Arran Victory', 'Charlotte' , 'Pink Fir Apple' and 'Sarpo Mira'.
The November salad bags will contain the last of our lettuce and we still have chillies from a polytunnel to sell at November's markets.
Posted: Saturday, 28 October, 2017 - 08:59
Join us for a guided walk around our fields above Wye
Sunday 29 October 1.30pm – 4pm
(remember to change your clocks)
· Farm walk at 2pm
· (meet 1.30)
* Apple Bobbing
* Guess the weight of the Pumpkin
* Refreshments Provided
Meet at Sidelands Workshop
Directions to Sidelands Works...
Posted: Monday, 2 October, 2017 - 15:33
It’s that harvesting time of year – although we’re out in the fields harvesting some crops 6 days a week, September to November sees us harvesting potatoes, onions and squash for winter storage. We’ve got all of our onions in store now, some of the early crop grew to a good size but the later crop is on the small side this year. We’ve not harvested as many potatoes as we’d like yet due to a combination of wet conditions and a potato harvester that is showing it’s age and keeps breaking down (tha...
Posted: Monday, 11 September, 2017 - 11:20
Back in July we had a visit from photographer Miles Willis for a feature in the Jellied Eel magazine.
Here's his photo story of us transplanting lettuce
Posted: Monday, 11 September, 2017 - 11:08
We've been delivering our orgnic vegetables into London for around 20 years now so very happy to be featured in the Jellied Eel's 'Farmers who feed London' feature. To view a pdf of the magazine (issue 55) login in to The Jellied Eel's website.
The Jellied Eel is London Food Link's magazine for sustainable food in London, produced and published three times a year by the charity Sustain and available to pick up for free at over 150 locations around the city.
Posted: Monday, 11 September, 2017 - 10:54
It felt like autumn came early this year with cool, misty mornings but we still got enough dry days to make a good start on our onion and potato harvesting. The early season heat in June gave the sun loving squash and sweetcorn a good start though, so both ripened up early despite the generally cooler July and August. As always, we’d like a sunny September to enable us to finish our potato and onion harvest, and sweeten the squash even more.
Sweetcorn fritters – cooked sweetcorn makes g...
Posted: Monday, 4 September, 2017 - 10:57
Head over to the Soil Association's website to find out about reasons to eat organic this September (and beyond) as well as offers, recipes and more.
Join our own East Kent vegetable box scheme and get 4 boxes for the price of 3
Posted: Friday, 4 August, 2017 - 10:03
Most crops are growing well and have been well watered in now and just need some August sun. The onions need a dry week now too, so they can dry out in the field before being harvested for storage. Martin has been happy with the recent wet, cool week though, just like being back in Ireland! We’ve had the big ‘Grimme’ potato harvester out for the first time and this will be in action plenty over the coming weeks. It’s a favourite job for many of our staff – always good when a machine can do...
Posted: Monday, 3 July, 2017 - 12:41
The mid-June heatwave was challenging for vegetable growing and harvesting; I’m not sure how we managed before we got a refridgerated van a few years ago. Extreme heat so early in the growing season is difficult as most of the crops are still young and tender, especially the green, leafy crops. The onions, squash and courgettes have been loving the heat though and growing well and Martin had a good couple of weeks of weed control. The rain and cooler temperatures at the end of June were very wel...
Posted: Wednesday, 31 May, 2017 - 16:45
May gave us enough rain (just in time) and lots of sun so no complaints there. A lot changes in a month, especially at this time of year – all of last season’s crops are finished now & we’re harvesting new season’s spinach, kale, chard, lettuce, salad, new potatoes, polytunnel-grown bunching carrots, spring onions & spring garlic. We’ve planted courgettes & weeded beetroot; both should be ready by the end of the month. We may have a gap in carrots again though, our early field sowing...
Posted: Monday, 8 May, 2017 - 14:07
The April showers at the very end of the month didn’t amount to much in the end, so the ground is still dry, hoping for more soon; great soil conditions for weed control control though! (Update: more rain today, 3/5, yippee! - so more transplanting planned for the weekend).
Looking after our baby plants is keeping us busy too; we’ve almost finished seeding next season’s leeks (and almost finished harvesting last season’s!) and have just stated seeding our tender outdoor crops - courgettes, sq...
Posted: Friday, 7 April, 2017 - 11:20
We’ve had plenty of sun and March winds, and very little rain during March, enabling us to get lots of field work done. We’ve sown broad beans (covered by a cover to stop the rooks feasting on them), planted onion sets and potatoes, and transplanted some early kale plants. It's been great to get so much done in the fields, but dare I say it, we will need a few April showers soon!
The seeding glasshouse is full, and many baby plants have been moved out to harden off; we're still seeding more k...
Posted: Friday, 7 April, 2017 - 11:10
We are often asked where in Kent we deliver our organic vegetable boxes, so here's the lowdown..
We offer doorstep delivery in Canterbury, using Velocity Courier. Andrew and Isabelle provide a wonderful service, and deliver our vegetable boxes around Canterbury using bike and trailer, enabling us to offer an eco-friendly home delivery.
We also offer home delivery (by van) in Wye and the surrounding area, including Boughton Aluph, Brook, Hastingleigh and parts of Brabourne/Smeeth.
Posted: Monday, 20 March, 2017 - 16:46
The short wild garlic season has just started. We harvest the leaves from a large patch in woodland at Burscombe Cliff Organic Farm, Egerton and in return we provide waste potatoes for the organically reared pigs and cows there. Look out for the long, dark green leaves in our stir fry bags and salad bags as well as on its own.
The tasty leaves and flower heads of wild garlic are best eaten raw, try a few leaves in a sandwich, or added to a salad. I use a few leaves (instead of clov...
Posted: Monday, 20 March, 2017 - 12:34
Ripple Farm's organic vegetable box scheme has been running for over 20 years, providing a selection of 100% organic vegetables and salads weekly to customers in East Kent.
New customers receive their 4th veggie box FREE if they pay in advance for their first 3. We are proud of feeding so many customers with a varied selection of vegetables and proud that within our box scheme, approximately 80% of the contents (on average) are grown by ourselves. Another 10% comes from another organic grower...
Posted: Monday, 27 February, 2017 - 15:29
Spring was in the air the last 2 weeks, enabling us to make a start on muck-spreading and ploughing; we’ve even got a few rows of early potatoes in the ground, protected by a cover. Better not get carried away though, it looks a bit less ‘spring-like’ this week. We’ve also made a good start on seed sowing into trays; we grow all our own plants and there are lots of leeks to sow at this time of year, as well as a few trays of kales, spinach, chard, lettuce, spring cabbage and parsley for the firs...
Posted: Tuesday, 14 February, 2017 - 17:17
It's always good to know our customers enjoy and appreciate our vegetables - just sharing a few recent comments from our box scheme customers.
Thanks as always- I keep telling friends about how great the box scheme is.
Thank you to all at Ripple Farm for our tasty vegetable box. I still feel like it's a gift every week, all these years of having it!
Can I also just say how impressed we have been with the box scheme. The products are amazing and we really look forward to collecting ours...
Posted: Monday, 30 January, 2017 - 16:22
January gave us some proper winter weather and subsequent challenging harvesting conditions. The frosty mornings meant many crops were still frozen until 11 or 12, so less time in the day to harvest (and then pack). We did get a few hours of lovely sun most days though, when we had to strip off a few of our many layers of clothing!
You may have heard about various veg shortages in January due to unusually bad weather in southern Spain, where a lot of the UK’s out-of-season crops come from, fo...
Posted: Thursday, 26 January, 2017 - 13:45
A film crew from BBC Scotland and presenter JB, were at Ripple Farm in January, to film an episode of the CeeBeebies program 'Down on the Farm'. The filming took place at the Victorian walled garden we rent, which looked very picturesque, after overnight snow on the Thursday. Children from Lady Joanna Thornhill School, Wye and the Beacon school, Folkestone took part, and were real stars considering it was snowing again and bitterley cold in the wind. The episode focuses on kale, and th...
Posted: Thursday, 26 January, 2017 - 13:22
2017 sees the launch of our new website, whcih should make it easier for box scheme customers to change their orders, notify us of cancellations, check their balances etc. There may be teething problems though, we would appreciate it if you could let us know if you have any difficulties or have any feedback at all.
Meanwhile, a pretty picture of parsley under snow, we had a tough time harvesting anything for our markets that day!
Many thanks, Sarah
Posted: Friday, 30 October, 2015 - 09:33
Thanks to all that came on our annual farm walk last Sunday, we had beautiful October weather and a great bunch of people joining us, including lots of enthusiastic children and a few dogs. Martin took everyone through the forests of kale, past our spinach and chard patches, then onto 'Prescott' field, where we are growing most of our cabbages, sprouts and broccoli this year. Then down to the bottom of the filed, where there were still a few pumpkins not yet picked up, so the children were able...
Posted: Tuesday, 6 October, 2015 - 16:00
Our main tractor driver, Rachel, competed at the East Kent Ploughing Match this year, driving our John Deere tractor. She was the only woman in this category and here's her account of the day and what lead to her deciding to take part....
Posted: Saturday, 12 September, 2015 - 09:06
We'll be BBQing our sweetcorn at the Wye Community Farm Harvest Festival again this year, held on Saturday Sep 12, and our salad leaves will be served with the burgers., more info here
Posted: Wednesday, 22 July, 2015 - 20:34
Left = Patty Pan, right = Crown Prince We usually grow around 8-10 different varieties of squash at Ripple Farm, with the UFO shaped 'Patty Pan' squash being the first to be ready in July, and the 'Crown Prince' storing until April / May but this year we managed to have squash all year round. Last summer was particularly good for squash, our plants got enough rain to establish well, and then plenty of sun which the plants convert into sugars, helping the squash keep better and taste better...
Posted: Monday, 23 February, 2015 - 21:21
Last summer we were contacted by Charlie Watson, Project Manager at Longhand Isotopes, wanting to use some of our organic vegetables to add to a library of reference samples to authenticate where vegetables come from (vs. where they are declared from) using isotope analysis. Basically, all organic materials, i.e. pertaining to raw vegetable and animal material, can be tested for their geographical origin by means of isotope analyses.
This provides a product retraceability independent of any a...
Posted: Tuesday, 27 January, 2015 - 13:13
Pat Crawford, freelance writer and press and PR for Hadlow College, contacted us, wanting an interview for her monthly feature on a day in the life of a Kent based farmer. That went well, but neither of us were looking forward to having photos taken, but Manu was lovely and very relaxed. Here's the article and hopefully, we'll get more of the photos soon.
Posted: Tuesday, 27 January, 2015 - 13:00
A Day in the Life of - Written for the Wye Parish Magazine, Nov 2014 Our working day starts at 8am (7am in the summer); Thursday is usually our busiest day, and there are 11 of us today, most working a full day. Quite a few of us cycle in from Wye, then its waterproofs on, as, although it’s not raining now, the crops will be very wet from the overnight rain. Today we are harvesting for Friday’s early morning deliveries to wholefood and organic...
Posted: Tuesday, 4 November, 2014 - 19:31
Our Halloween veggie boxes contain the traditional pumpkin for carving (and eating!), as well as swede, as carved by the pagans, but more work than a pumpkin ! There is also a treat, a 'Romanesque' (Italian Broccoli) - beautifully alien and totally delicious.The carvings in the middle are done by a box scheme customer after our annual farm walk.
Posted: Wednesday, 6 August, 2014 - 11:16
New findings show that organic crops, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals, and crop-based foods are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than non-organic crops. The findings shatter the myth that how we farm does not affect the quality of the food we eat. A landmark paper to be published in the British Journal of Nutrition1 on Tuesday 15 July, concludes there are significant differences in the nutritional content of or...
Posted: Tuesday, 22 July, 2014 - 13:59
The 4th Wye Food Festival kicked off at a very busy, extended Wye Farmers Market. The lovely Claire was selling our veggies on the Ripple Farm Organics stall as usual, Sarah was running the Ripple Farm kids tent (lettuce planting and farm toys) and Martin and the Saturday crew were busier than usual with the beer tent to put up as well as the usual market stalls. Through the week we were also involved in the 'Wye Vegetable' walk and we took the Wye Brownies to dig their own potatoes in Ripple's...
Posted: Sunday, 27 April, 2014 - 21:15
Posted: Thursday, 6 March, 2014 - 18:45
Spring is definitely stir fry season at Ripple Farm, it's that time of year when the brassicas want to do what comes naturally, and spread their seeds, but first they flower and those flowering shoots make great stir-fry ingredients. Purple-sprouting broccoli (PSB) is a well-known flower shoot that we love to eat, but the flowering shoots of the kales are pretty tasty too. It almost seems, that despite giving us tasty leaves all season, their raison d'etre is really to give us their delicious fl...
Posted: Friday, 14 February, 2014 - 09:05
Here's Martin, hiding on page 51 in the March edition of BBC Good Food Magazine, talking about Kale.....Ripple Farm in BBC Good Food Mag
Posted: Friday, 14 February, 2014 - 09:01
Growing Communities are a social enterprise in Hackney, East London, providing their local, urban customers with sustainable options for access to fresh food. They are a big part of our business; we have been attending their weekly, all organic farmers market since it started in 2003, and we are one of their main box scheme suppliers.And, added to that, they're all very nice people so we're always happy when they pay us a visit at Ripple Farm. Amy came...
Posted: Friday, 24 January, 2014 - 12:16
Young sprout plants, Aug '10
Posted: Friday, 11 October, 2013 - 11:12
Posted: Wednesday, 31 July, 2013 - 21:46
Ripple Farm at Lounge on the Farm Festival The Ripple Farm stall The Soil Association has been working with a number of schools, enabling them to run their own 'Farmers Market' style events. Charlton Manor Primary School, London have been involved and although we weren't able to attend ourselves, we sent a selection of our veggies for the pupils to sell and apparently they did a very good job.
Posted: Monday, 8 July, 2013 - 21:23
Good job their were lots of children to stop the sheep eating Ripple's lettuces on their way back to Olantigh field.
Posted: Tuesday, 2 July, 2013 - 15:35
Spectators welcome, Sunday 7 July, 10-1, *(Weather permitting)Kevin Luckhurst, of Moneytree Farm, Naccolt, has been grazing his sheep on Ripple Farm’s fields below Wye Crown, during the last month or two, as part of a fertility building rotation. They are due to be shorn (by Kevin himself, and helpers) on Sunday 7 July, 10-1 and spectators are welcome (rain will stop the shearing though, so check the forecast). He has shee...
Posted: Monday, 24 June, 2013 - 21:26
Monday's cyclists, Penny, Ade, Sarah, Martin, Lewis, Jane Who was it who sang 'I've never seen a farmer on a bike', well they were wrong. Ripple Farm workers rose to the challenge to clock up 150 'bike-to-work' miles during May, and they smashed it (well actually just scraped through). Anyway, we decided to go for 200 in June, and we've done it with 6 days to go!Most of us live in Wye, just under 3 miles away over quietish, undulating road, actually part of Sustrans Route 18. One of us live...
Posted: Wednesday, 8 May, 2013 - 21:13
Red dead-nettle growing amongst spring garlic
Posted: Friday, 26 April, 2013 - 14:55
This is my (slightly altered, using what was available on the farm in March)) version of 'Herb Pie' from the book 'Jerusalem' by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. It makes 6-8 good size portions, so you could halve the recipe.I used500g chard, stems and leaves finely shredded but kept seperate50g rocket30g flat parsley30g wild garlic10g fennel leaf1 large onion, cut up finely100g mature cheddar, grated175g goats cheese2 medium eggs, beaten250g filo pastryolive oilSaute the onion in oil for 5-10...
Posted: Friday, 19 April, 2013 - 10:23
Red Russian Kale is probably my favourite kale, you will find the smaller leaves in our winter salads, and the bigger leaves in mixed kale and stir fry bags. It's a vey sweet kale leaf, ranging in colour from light green new growth (as pictured left), through to the dark purple leaves that have had exposure to cold pemperatures.Even my 10 year old eats it straight from the plant (and the only other green things she eats are peas and green smarties!)But I think it really is at it's be...
Posted: Monday, 15 April, 2013 - 11:26
This year’s Wye Food Festival – between Saturday June 15th and Sunday June 23rd – is on the theme of good clean local food. You’ll be able to see where local meat, fruit and vegetables are grown, and discover how local bread, sausages, chutneys and cheese are made. There’ll be dishes using locally-produced food in Wye’s pubs and restaurants, and opportunities to produce your own...
Posted: Monday, 18 March, 2013 - 12:18
A sunny Sunday in 2010, so Martin got some help harvesting the wild garlic.