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Time to harvest

Harvest & celebrate Enjoy your harvest, gather in the last of the summer crops, orchard fruits and hedgerow berries. Reflect in the morning mists and marvel at the spider webs.

Contents Autumn at Trill Farm, Romy Fraser In the Veg Garden, Ashley Wheeler The dilemmas of livestock farming, Jake Hancock Enzymes, Daphne Lambert The Autumn Gentian, Julian Barnard Recipes for Autumn, Chris Onions Autumn Health & Hedgerows, Annie McIntyre Course Programme 2017 Trill people

at Trill Farm I was thinking about my life recently and realising how extraordinarily lucky I am. The time I spend at Trill Farm is just about as good as life gets and I feel that it is worth reflecting on, as it’s been quite a journey. I started with the idea of turning the land into a commercial food-producing farm, at the same time encouraging the diverse natural habitats here to thrive. It was to be a teaching farm, welcoming expertise in crafts and rural skills, but this just wasn’t really financially viable and I didn’t have the skills. I liked the idea of small businesses with shared values working together, so over the last nine years the farm has evolved into something that is real, friendly, inclusive and very productive. Trill Farm, positioned in a north/south wooded valley, four miles from the beautiful Jurassic coast, is a special place to live. The heart of the farm is at the end of a long track going over a stream and under some weeping willows, ending in the front courtyard where the main cluster of buildings are. I like to think this courtyard, with the magnificent but decrepit medieval manor house on one side, is for friends and visitors to gather and meet, get directions or information, eat something delicious in Chris’s kitchen, or discover the latest products selling in the shop. I have plans to do more pottery, currently situated in a tiny corner. This autumn we’ve been making the fermenting jars. For the next box it will be soup bowls, just right for winter.

Romy Fraser

I N THE V EG GARDE N by Ashley Wheeler Our seventh season at Trill is coming to a close and we have had our best yet. The summer sun has kept the crops growing well and the rain seemed to come at just the right times. Since April we have harvested over two tonnes of salad and we seemed to get the timings of sowings spot on this year, which has meant there has been no gap in salad production since February, and that should continue into December. Our new polytunnel has allowed us a little extra space to grow some of the salad leaves inside such as the sun loving summer purslane, as well as more basil which has done really well this year. Now that Autumn is upon us it is time to start preparing the ground for next year. We will be sowing a mix of cereal rye and vetch on any bare ground, and covering some of the beds where early crops will go with black plastic, to minimise soil erosion and keep them relatively dry. One of the biggest jobs in October is the turnaround of the polytunnels. We will be pulling out all of the summer crops such as the tomatoes, french beans, cucumbers and peppers and making space for thousands of

winter salad plants that were sown in module trays through September, as well as winter herbs, spring garlic, spring onions, peas and broad beans. This transformation usually takes place over a few days and as soon as the summer crops are put on the compost heap the tunnels are given a long soak with the overhead irrigation before giving them a light dressing of compost and planting the winter crops often in the same day. One of the joys at the end of summer and beginning of autumn for me is seed saving. We have been saving large quantities of salad leaf seed such as orache and salad burnet, as well as all of the tomatoes, some chillies, lots of beans, various herbs, beetroot, sunflowers and poppies. All in all we have saved over 20 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers for the next couple of years. The quantity of seed produced by plants never ceases to amaze me, and it is easy to save huge amounts of seed from a small patch of plants, some of which will last for a few years. I will be running a course on seed saving next year, as well as one on market gardening. I am involved in setting up a new centre of land based skills called LandBase which aims to close the gap between the growing interest in land skills and the lack of structured learning facilities for new entrants to small scale food production in the UK.

Ash and Kate have created a vegetable growing enterprise, Trill Farm Garden at Trill Farm, supplying the Trill kitchen as well as neighbouring restaurants with fresh, seasonal, varied produce.


by Jake Hancock

It has been a pretty good and relatively quiet summer at Trill. Thanks to a kind season we have made a lot of silage, and plenty of hay this year. The summer has been warm with lots of sun and not much rain: very good hay making weather. The calves are doing well and will still be suckling and grazing with their mums until November. The sheep have grown very quickly this year, with half of them being fat on the day they were weaned at the end of July. This is a much higher proportion than we were expecting and particularly impressive given that we never feed any of the sheep anything other than grass.

TO BUY OUR BEEF & LAMB REARED AT TRILL Email chrissy@wessexconservationgrazing.co.uk

Having spent the last month very busy sorting out lambs and sheep in preparation for the next breeding season, I am currently looking forward to getting busy with cattle weaning, TB testing and pregnancy diagnosis. We successfully vaccinated the badgers at Trill last year in an attempt to keep Defra away from both the cows and the badgers. It will be very interesting to see whether this has any impact on our situation going forward.

Following roles at the Soil Association and National Trust, Jake took on the tenancy of Trill Farm in 2010, where he runs 40 Devon and Angus suckler cows, and about 160 Exlana and crossbred breeding ewes


by Daphne Lambert Enzymes activate and carry out all the biological processes in the body, such as digestion, nerve impulses, the detoxification process, the functioning of RNA/DNA along with repairing and healing the body. Dr Edward Howell, a pioneer in the field of enzyme research, concluded after 40 years of study that an abundant supply of enzymes was a key factor in preventing chronic disease; how the capacity of an organism to make enzymes was exhaustible and how we utilised and replenished enzymes in our body was a measure of overall health. There are three broad categories of enzymes; metabolic, responsible for activating all our metabolic processes; digestive, which enable food to be digested; and the enzymes you take in with your food. Of the 50,000 plus enzymes, about 24 of them are digestive enzymes. The main types are proteases, which digest proteins; amylases, which digest carbohydrates; and lipases, which digest fats. The enzymes in raw food help to start the process of digestion and reduce the body’s need to make digestive enzymes. Constantly having to make digestive enzymes puts a strain on certain organs, in particular the pancreas causing it to swell in size, while other glands and organs, notably the brain have been found to actually shrink in size. Enzymes are destroyed by heat above 110F and in some cases lower. Too many highly beneficial enzymes are destroyed in our diets of predominantly cooked food. Enzyme deficiency will lead to poor digestion & poor nutrient absorption. This creates a variety of gastro intestinal symptoms including constipation, bloating, cramping, flatulence & heartburn. Over time, the body loses its ability to manufacture enzymes (young adults have thirty times the enzymes of the elderly) so ensuring we eat at least some enzyme rich food daily will help support digestion and vitality. Some of the most vital enzyme rich foods to include in your diet are fermented foods and sprouted seeds. All seeds have enzyme inhibitors which the soaking and sprouting process deactivate, making available to us the metabolic and digestive enzymes. Seeds that have the highest enzyme content are those with a 1⁄4-inch sprout. Both fermenting and sprouting are simple preparations and very easy to add daily to your meals.

Daphne is currently establishing her new teaching and overnight home stays near Lewes. She returns to teach the Living Nutrition course at Trill Farm. Her two latest books, ‘Living Foods’ and ‘Fermenting’ are available from daphne@greencuisine.org


Serves 1 Handful of sprouted buckwheat 1 tbsp Hemp seeds 1 dstsp Pumpkin seeds 1 dstsp Sunflower seeds 4oz (110g) Almond milk 1 tsp Honey 1 Apple diced Handful of blackberries 1 tbsp Ground flax seeds Soak the buckwheat and seeds with the honey in the almond milk overnight. Add the blackberries and apple. Serve topped with ground flax seeds. .

NEXT LIVING NUTRITION COURSE 31ST MARCH - 2ND APRIL 2017 trillfarm.co.uk for more details

Photograph by Giulius Cerati

The Autumn Gentian Gentiana amarella

by Julian Barnard Not far from Trill Farm, on the limestone cliffs near Axmouth, there is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) where gentians grow in abundance. This is not a rare plant really but it is only found where the soil is thin and does not suffer from any interference or undue enrichment from grazing animals. The way this area is managed by the team from East Devon is exemplary. Early September each year a group of volunteers cut, rake and remove all the surface growth of grasses and flowers to maintain the area in the right way. And the consequence? The many rare and special plant species thrive. And among them Autumn Gentians. In many parts of the country the intensive agriculture and heavy grazing by farm animals can upset the delicate balance so that some plants prosper (like docks, thistles and nettles) while the more sensitive species fall away. There is often a direct link between plant diversity and wildlife survival. Just listen to the latest reports on bird populations to see the scale of the problem. One example which recently came to attention was the relationship between declining bat populations and the numbers of night-flying insects. Pesticides and insecticides are a real problem and not just for bats. That is why Trill Farm is such an important example of good management and conservation ecology. This is not a subject to measure just by looking at plants or insects or birds. But it is easily read and understood by looking for diversity. That diversity might include people, skills, teaching and exploration: such a simple experience as sleeping out in the woods and listening in the darkness to the many sounds of the night.

If we localise our care for the land we may make individual decisions which can help the whole to prosper.

Julian Barnard is the founder of Healing Herbs, producing Bach flower essences. Also an established author and teacher, he regularly stays in this part of Devon and visits Trill Farm.

INTRODUCTION TO BEE KEEPING 16TH MARCH & 14TH SEPT 2017 trillfarm.co.uk for more details

NEXT FAMILY CAMP 27TH-29TH MARCH 2017 trillfarm.co.uk for more details


by Chris Onions AROMATIC PHEASANT BAKED IN HAY Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6 Serves 4 1 1.5kg Whole pheasant 4 Garlic cloves 1 Star anise 300ml Dry cider 3 tsp Trill autumn seasoning 3 Bags of Trill Farm hay 100g Unsalted butter 40ml Rapeseed oil 300ml Chicken stock 1 Muslin cloth (large enough to completely wrap the bird in)

Place the pheasant on top of the muslin cloth. Rub a little rapeseed all over the bird and season well inside and outside with the autumn Seasoning. Lightly crush the garlic cloves and place inside the carcass along with the star anise. Wrap the pheasant tightly in the cloth. Now to bake you need a heavy based ovenproof pot with a lid. You want to create a nest of hay in which to bake the bird. Make sure you also cover the top with plenty more hay. Pour the cider around the sides and place on the lid. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, this will vary depending on the weight of the meat. Check by stabbing a knife through the cloth and into the thigh. The juices should run clear. Put the lid back on and let the bird rest, out of the oven, in the juices for 30 minutes. When the rest is finished remove the bird from the cloth. You now want to colour the skin. Add a touch of oil and the butter to a frying pan large enough to accommodate the whole pheasant and melt until the butter begins to foam. Place the pheasant breast side down in the pan and gently colour all over, twisting and turning the bird to ensure all over colour.

Chris Onions runs the Old Dairy Kitchen. It is a working and teaching kitchen and occupies a central position in the front courtyard of Trill Farm. He spends his time making dishes created from foraging the hedgerows and the organically grown vegetables from Ash and Kate’s commercial garden. olddairykitchen.co.uk

Meanwhile strain the juices from the oven dishes through a sieve and add the chicken stock. Place on heat and reduce until you have made a lovely, rich and delicious sauce. Carve the pheasant and serve with the sauce. This works well with many garnishes - roasted pumpkin and chestnuts for an autumn supper or a little damson and beetroot slaw at lunch.

CHILLI, GINGER & APPLE JELLY 2kg Apples 1.2l Water 2 Lemons (zested and juiced) 700g Cane sugar (depending on juice) 2 Medium hot red chillies (finely chopped with seeds in) 1tsp Ginger (peeled and finely grated) Wash and roughly chop the apples, keep the skins on and seeds in. Put the apples into a large saucepan along with the water, ginger and lemon zest. Bring to the boil and then strain overnight through a sterilised muslin cloth or jelly bag. Measure the strained juice and add 490g of sugar for each 600ml of juice. Return the strained liquid to a large saucepan and add the chilli and sugar. Slowly heat until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat to a rolling boil until setting point is reached, 104.5 C. Add the lemon juice and pour into sterilised jars. Put the lid on immediately and cool for 30 minutes. Turn the jars every 30 minutes to ensure chillies are evenly distributed until the jelly has set.

DAMSON & ALMOND PASTY Makes 4 pasties



225g Unsalted butter (cut into 2cm cubes and chill) 165ml Water (chill in the freezer for 30 minutes) 3/4tsp Salt 320g Plain flour Beaten egg and sugar for glazing

100g Soft unsalted butter 125g Cane sugar 2 Eggs 125g Ground almonds 1 Vanilla pod (seeds scraped out) 60g Plain flour 400g Damsons (pitted and chopped into quarters)

These little sweet treats are perfect for those mid autumn picnics. Sieve 3/4 of the flour onto the work surface and spread into a rectangle about 1cm thick, sprinkle over the salt. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour and toss the remaining flour over the butter so that your rolling pin won’t stick, and begin rolling. When the butter starts flattening out into long, thin pieces, use a dough scraper and scrape the flour and butter mixture back into a square. Repeat the rolling and scraping 3 or 4 times. Make a well in the centre and pour all of the water into it. Using a dough scraper, scoop the sides of the dough into the center, cutting the water through the dough. Keep scraping and cutting until the dough is a shaggy mass and shape into a rectangle. Lightly dust the top with flour and roll out the rectangle until it is half as large again, then scrape the top, bottom and sides together to the original size and re-roll. Repeat 3 or 4 times until you have a smooth and cohesive dough. Transfer the rectangle of dough to a large baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.

Cream the sugar, butter and vanilla seeds until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in the eggs and the chopped damsons. Then fold in the almonds and flour. Place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

TO MAKE THE PASTIES Roll out the pastry to a 7mm thick sheet and using a pastry cutter or a 10cm plate cut out circles. Brush a little whisked egg around each circle and place a spoonful of the filling in the middle, carefully fold over one side of the pastry and stick it to the other. Use a fork and seal around the edge. Place the pasty onto a baking sheet and repeat until all the pastry and filling is used. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Remove the pasties from the fridge, brush with a little egg wash to glaze and sprinkle over a little sugar. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until they are golden and crisp.

PREPARING & COOKING GAME 15TH OCTOBER 2016 trillfarm.co.uk for more details

AUTUMN HEALTH & HEDGEROWS Annie McIntyre A healthy immune system is the key to warding off colds and coughs, particularly in the winter when infections are rife. A good diet with regular exercise, rest and relaxation will help to keep infections at bay. Take plenty of your exercise outdoors to keep your lungs healthy, and to minimize the hours spent in stuffy overheated rooms.


To maximize your resistance to the infections that cause coughs there is a wealth of remedies from the plant kingdom to help you. The best are vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, sweet peppers, blackcurrants, blackberries, apples and green vegetables. They stimulate the little hairs lining the bronchi in the lungs and help them to clear out toxins and irritants efficiently.

50g Fresh or 25g dried thyme leaves 600ml Boiling water 300g Runny honey 300g Sugar

Onions, leeks and garlic have antiseptic qualities and can prevent and clear infection from the chest. Turnips and brassicas, such as cabbage, stimulate the immune system and also fight infection. Carrots have expectorant action that can clear phlegm from the throat, while spices such as ginger and cayenne can decongest the airways.

This sweet fragrant syrup from Greece makes an excellent remedy for all kinds of coughs. Thyme is highly antiseptic and, with its expectorant action, chases away infection and clears congestion from the chest. A perfect syrup for children with its smooth velvety texture and delicious taste.

Place the thyme in a teapot. Pour on boiling water, cover and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Heat the infusion with the honey and sugar in a stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Stir in the mixture as it starts to thicken and skim off any scum from the surface. Leave to cool. Pour into a cork-stoppered bottle and store in the refrigerator. Take 2 teaspoons, 3 times daily for chronic problems and every 2 hours for acute conditions in children.

NEXT HERBAL MEDICINE COURSE 20TH-21ST MAY 2017 trillfarm.co.uk for more details

CHILDREN’S FEVERS Fevers produced by childhood illnesses represent a strong and vital response to toxins and provide an opportunity for the child to cleanse the system and throw off toxins accumulated not only during the child’s life but also inherited from parents at the embryonic stage of development. We can aid this process by not giving a child with fever solid food, just plenty to drink. This encourages sweating and elimination of toxins via the pores as well as through the kidneys and bladder. There are certain herbs that actually encourage sweating which would be ideal here, including basil, lime-flower, lemon balm, elderflower, peppermint, yarrow, chamomile, ginger and cinnamon. Drinks prepared from fruits, vegetables and herbs packed with vitamins, minerals and trace elements will provide nutritional support for the immune system in its fight against infection. Those with a mild laxative action will also help to speed the cleansing process. Apples, apricots, blackberries, bilberries, blackcurrants, carrots, peas, celery, garlic and onions would all be beneficial.

ENGLISH BLACKBERRY CORDIAL This sweet spicy cordial is delicious enough to be loved by children and provides a great remedy for aiding the body’s fight against infection and throwing off a fever at the same time. Blackberries are packed with vitamin C and bioflavonoids, they have a decongestant action and clear toxins from the body through their laxative and diuretic effects. The spices increase sweating by stimulating the circulation and have powerful anti-microbial properties.

900g Ripe blackberries or enough to produce 600ml juice 6 tbsp Runny honey 10 Cloves 5 Slices fresh root ginger 1 tsp Ground cinnamon Press the ripe, raw blackberries through a sieve to obtain the juice. Place in a pan and add the honey and spices. Bring to the boil over a low heat, stirring until the honey has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool. To drink add hot water and dilute to taste. Drink a cupful every 2 hours.



The season of ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is certainly a good time to make use of the abundant fruit that might otherwise go to waste on the ground in the orchard or in the fruit bowl. Drinks packed with vitamins and minerals made from apples, pears, plums, blackberries and elderberries, provide vital nutrients for the immune system and serve to prepare us well for the onslaught of winter and the ills it may bring. Spices added to enhance the flavor of the fruit have the extra benefit of stimulating the circulation, keeping us warm as the weather turns colder.

This rich dark-red cordial is a storehouse of vitamins A and C, and a delicious syrupy remedy for preventing and treating coughs colds and flu, sore throats and fevers. Until the end of the 19th century hot elderberry drinks were sold on the streets of London on cold winters days and nights to give cheer to workers and travellers and to keep out the cold. Cinnamon was often added to elderberry rob to enhance its warming effect.

450g Fresh elderberries 450g Brown sugar Strip the berries from their stems, wash and then crush them. Place in a pan with the sugar. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer until a syrupy consistency is reached. Pass through a sieve and bottle in clean airtight bottles. Take 1-2 tablespoons in a cup of hot water regularly as a preventative or at the onset of cold symptoms. This recipe works well with other fruit such as blackberries and blackcurrants.

Annie McIntyre runs the courses in experiential herbalism at Trill Farm, using the herb gardens and hedgerows to teach the practical side of using herbs.

COURSE PROGRAMME The farm enterprises and products we sell help to support the educational objectives that are central to the ethos of Trill Farm. Using the farm as a beautiful classroom, we aim to inspire people to reconnect to nature and encourage them to adopt a healthy and sustainable lifestyle that demonstrates respect for our natural environment.



Learn skills including skinning and gutting, plucking and jointing on pheasant and rabbit. Tackle a whole deer, learn joints and recipes, and make sausages to take home.

Talk, discussions and a fabulous three-course supper.

October 15


October 25 Gives the confidence to beginners to tackle those small but important jobs around the house.

September 30, October 28


November 25 & November 26 Learn to make your own personalised festive decorations and take home your creations.

Live well, be inspired, gain new skills, learn from nature.



Gives the confidence to beginners to tackle those small but important jobs around the house.

Spring: March 31 - April 2 Summer: June 23 - 25 Autumn: September 8 - 10 Winter: December 1- 3


Explore the relationship between land, food, health and vitality, and leave with seasonal recipes and cooking skills to share at home.

January 28, March 25

February 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 A five-day course designed to expand the skills learned on the Beginners Carpentry course. Work with the less forgiving hardwoods and focus on more advances joints.


March 16, September 14 For those who would like a comprehensive understanding of what modern apiculture involves and would like to take further steps towards becoming a novice beekeeper.


March 25 A hands-on workshop making your own soaps tailored to individual preferences and skin type, using plants gathered from our gardens. Leave with a collection of soaps and the skills to carry on crafting.


Spring: May 20 - 21 Summer: July 15 - 16 Autumn: September 2 - 3 Winter: October 7 - 8 Identify and forage for seasonal herbs, understand their medicinal properties and uses, and learn to create a range of preparations for health and well-being.


Spring: May 27 - 29 Summer: July 23 - 27 A nature connection camp for families of all ages. Forage, play games, light fires, star gaze, meet the wildlife, wander, create and dream.



THIS TRILL SEASONAL BOX WAS A GROUP EFFORT Fran does the overall box co-ordination Romy & Graham make the Trill ceramics Joe makes the fragrant soaps and beauty products Daphne wrote the book and made the delicious food products Sam crafted the sauerkraut pounder Ash and Kate grew the cabbage Bryony makes the herbal teas Jane keeps the accounts immaculate Tamsin brings our ideas to life PHOTOS BY BEKI BERNSTEIN BROCHURE DESIGN BY TAMSIN LOXLEY PRINTING BY AXMINSTER PRINTERS

To find out more about our lunches, products, wholesale enquiries, B&B, campsite or to book onto one of our courses please get in touch via FRAN@TRILLFARM.CO.UK

Musbury, Devon, EX13 8TU 01297 631113

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Trill Farm Autumn Seasons Booklet 2016  

Trill Farm Autumn Seasons Booklet 2016  

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