Marvellously mint in May.

April is always a bit touch and go but come May and we really are into spring. But that doesn’t mean there’s much to eat – unless you’re a spring lamb frolicking among the buttercups and nibbling away at a bit of tender grass.

I’m not sure what they’d make of asparagus should they be given the chance. For us, it used to be a treat, something that turned up for a few weeks in the Spring, if we were lucky. In those days before global warming it was often too cold. Now Spanish asparagus starts appearing in February and seems to go on for most of the summer. During the winter months it’s available from Peru (not at the farm shop though). But English is definitely the best because it does have to be fresh to take it to that extra level. We source ours from Neil at Kitley, Tom Brooks at Old Cummings farm and Riverford Organics who source theirs from Bedlam Farms in Cambridgeshire. It sounds a little Tesco-ish but it does actually exist. 

On the subject of Tesco’s fake farms, I can’t really see what the problem is. Nobody can seriously think that all Tesco’s pork comes from one farm so whether it exists or not is almost immaterial – they have to call it something. What is absolutely outrageous is when you look at the products on-line and find that the pork doesn’t even all come from the UK. Shame!

Riverford milk. Years ago, local journo, Lincoln Shaw, wrote a piece in the Totnes Times about needing a toolbox to open a carton of Riverford milk. Well, his message has finally been noted and as of May 9th, Riverford milk is going to be in polybottles. It’s always sad when, having bucked a trend, you realise you’ve backed the wrong horse and revert to the industrial norm but in this case, Riverford Organic Dairy know it’s the right thing to do. It’s the same milk but it keeps longer, the bottles are recyclable and come in different sizes. And they won’t leak – so that makes four reasons. The only downside is they don’t make very good firelighters.

The saga of our website is too long to detail, but we finally have one that works and, even more exciting, someone to update it. Abi Rowden used to work at River Cottage and then, Riverford Organic Farmers, so she knows a thing or two about digital and social media. Her challenge is to do it in the understated, knowledgeable but slightly quirky, way that I would like to think defines the farm shops. We see social media as a way of giving you more information to, hopefully, enhance your shopping experience with us. But, as ever, please let us know if it starts getting too much; we want your feedback, good or bad.