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at Trill Farm

2015


Summer days Enjoy the long daylight hours and the warm sun, swimming, walking or cycling in the fresh air of the countryside. Harvest your vegetables and fruit and enjoy the summer evenings with friends and family.

Contents Farming Update Salads Sprouting. A good way to health Recipes from the Old Dairy Kitchen Life in the Trill Streams Zero Carbon Britain Our Community


at Trill Farm

We’ve been blessed with a beautiful summer so far. Long warm sunny days and it’s hard to stay in the office and work. Just in time for relaxing this Summer, we have new benches and swings made by Ruth, perfect places for enjoying a good book and watching the ducklings and cygnets in the streams and ponds. This year the pear orchard will be dedicated to Dragana Vilinac; a beautiful and extraordinary fourth generation herbalist who worked with me for several years at Neal’s Yard Remedies. She sadly died last year. Pears, she said, would be an important cure for the future, helping to heal respiratory problems. So here we are, Dragana, in your memory! And me? I want to spend more time in our newly re-organised pottery. Enjoy your summer!


ON T HE FA RM T HE DI L E MMAS O F L I V E STO CK FARMING

by Jake Hancock It has been a relatively cool June and a much hotter July, definitely too hot for me working outside! We made about half the year’s silage over the last week, but still have more silage and hay to make between now and the end of July. The weather has been fairly kind to us for these jobs (we need it dry and warm, if not sunny), and to be honest I could do with a little more rain once the silage is baled! We held our first Open Farm Sunday event at Trill this year which was a fantastic success with well over 300 people attending, Chris selling out of burgers (meat from our own home

grown animals), and everybody giving us positive feedback about what we are doing on the farm. It is so nice to be able to show people what we do and how we look after our animals so we will definitely do it again next year. Bob the bull is now out working with the cows, and having a jolly old time interspersed with deep, deep sleep. Before long we will be weaning and selling our first lambs. Summer used to be a relatively quiet time of year when we didn’t have sheep and got contractors to make our hay – not anymore!

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.


Sa la d Days & Su mmer Flav o u r Bryony Middleton

While the seasons take their course and the weather provides new joys and challenges, one thing that is constant in the Trill Farm Garden throughout the year is an ever-evolving supply of delicious salad leaves. They are a saving grace in the spring, providing a handful of fresh vitamins to take us through the hungry gap. Then the long bright days of summer spur on a fresh flush of growth and the lettuces come into their element, so abundant we can barely keep up. The Salad Days are upon us!

One of the key things I’ve learnt here on my apprenticeship in the garden with Ash and Kate is the importance of the salad mix with which ‘Trill Leaves’ have gained a reputation in restaurants around East Devon and beyond. While some growers and supermarkets may stick to established lettuce favourites, rocket and baby leaf, Ash uses up to thirty different leaves in our summer salad and grows over fifty varieties throughout the year. On harvest days there is a careful balancing act of flavours, textures, colours and different shaped leaves to appease the eye and taste buds too.


Lettuces provide the backbone to the summer salad taking over from the brassica domination over winter. We are growing over twelve varieties of lettuce at the moment from the sweet round green leaves of the Little Gem and Cos, to hearty-leafed red Rubens, numerous oakleafed varieties, red and green Frills and two of my favourites; Red Dear Tongue, which has an unusual long thin red leaf and the stunning deep mahogany hue of the Rosemore. Lettuces account for about 65% of the summer salad mix and are topped by a plethora of treasures: spiralling Pea Shoots, forked Buckshorn Plantain, the cucumbery bitter tang of the Salad Burnet, fronds of aromatic herbs such as Dill and Fennel, crisp Summer Purslane, unusual crunchy Ice Plant tongues and stunning deep purple Amaranth, all add attractive colour to the mix. Then come the edible flowers that are like the icing on the cake and no summer salad should really be without! Edible flowers we include are violas, calendula, many shades of spicy nasturtiums, and the pretty white flower heads from any gone-to-seed herbs such as coriander or chervil. We also have a row of self-seeded borage plants, which spring up every year, with beautiful blue star-shaped edible flowers to sprinkle on top of the mix. It also provides a mini ‘borage festival’ for the bees and other helpful pollinators that swarm around it from early in the morning getting a buzz out of the sweet nectar. My top summer salad picks: Summer Purslane: this leaf is full of vitamin A and C and contains more iron than spinach! It is drought tolerant salad crop that produces plenty of succulent leaf shoots with a substantial crisp bite, and has a refreshing flavour. Agretti: a much desired Italian delicacy that has whipped up a frenzy in recent years among chefs and led to a shortage in seed supply from Italy. Needless to say, we somehow seem to have rows of these mini bundles of green fronds growing in the garden. Also known as saltwort, it has a saline, slightly citric

hint and can be eaten raw in salad or lightly blanched and served with olive oil and lemon. Goosefoot / Magenta Spreen: The star of the show visually at the moment is I think the Goosefoot, sometimes called tree spinach, from the Amaranthacae family. It is similar to the ‘weed’ Fat Hen with deep green leaves, but it has the most strikingly bright splash of glittery magenta pigment at the tip, as if it was covered with natural dye at the Holi Festival of Colours in Rajasthan. It self-seeds easily, has prolific growth and is frequently a conversation starter over the table on the Open Farm Lunches we have started at Trill every Wednesday. We do three to four sowings of summer salad for the growing season, planting out around 3000 lettuce plants at a time, plus about the same again of the other leaves. The lifespan of each batch is increased by loose leaf picking rather than cutting the lettuces as heads. Regular harvesting of lower leaves helps to rejuvenate the plant and removes juicy wet habitat so they are less appealing to slugs. Dave, Ollie and myself who work on harvest days, diligently hoed between the rows of salad crops in the weeks following planting out, allowing them to get a head-start over the weeds. A basic recipe for a unique blend of fragrant Trill salad leaves: Take 2 parts lettuce of different varieties and colours to form the base of the salad. Add 1 part colourful, tasty bits, including lemony, salty, bitter and spicy notes to make up the heart and soul of the salad. Finish off with a small sprinkling of flowers to add a unique and elegant top note!

After Wwoofing at Trill Farm last year, Bryony has come back in 2015 to do an apprenticeship with Ash and Kate in the market garden, while also spending time working with Chris in the Old Dairy Kitchen.


SPROUTING A way to good health by Daphne Lambert

Daphne Lambert is an award winning chef, author and founding member and CEO of Greencuisine Trust. She is an expert in the field of health and nutrition. Daphne’s new book ‘Living Food - a feast for soil & soul’ is out soon. See www.greencuisine.org for more details.


The greatest vitality in the life cycle of a plant is in the sprout. During germination the seed springs into life and the nutrition becomes more suitable for human needs. Enzyme inhibitors, phalates and oxylates present in every seed are removed. Starches are converted into simple sugars. Proteins and fats are broken down into an easily digestible form and vitamins are created. The active enzymes in germinating seeds aid the digestion and assimilation of all nutrients, placing less of a burden on the digestive system. Sprouts encouraged to grow leaves will provide a wonderful fresh source of chlorophyll that is renowned for its cleansing, anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating properties. Many civilisations have known the value of sprouting seeds. Ancient manuscripts show the Chinese were eating them 3000 years ago, especially soy, mung and aduki beans. Documents found in The Vatican library also refer to sprouting as an enlivening way of eating. Sprouted seeds were an important part of the long-lived Hunzas diet in the Himalayas. Some sprouts have more health benefits than others. Broccoli is known to be a versatile cancer fighter; broccoli sprouts however have a far higher concentration of anti cancer activity. Recent studies have shown that broccoli sprouts may reduce breast tumours. Fenugreek sprouts give a wonderful burst of flavour to salads and are especially good for improving digestion. Sprouted green lentils are very easy to produce and especially nutritious. Pound for pound they contain as much protein as red meat in a very digestible form. All edible grains, seeds (with the exception of the deadly nightshade family – tomatoes, aubergine, potatoes and peppers) and legumes (with the exception of kidney beans) can be sprouted. Generally the

following are the best ones to use for sprouting:

Grains: wheat, kamut, millet, spelt Seeds: alfalfa, radish, fenugreek, carrot, sunflower, red clover, buckwheat, quinoa, broccoli Legumes: mung, lentils, aduki beans, peas, chickpeas Home-grown sprouts are easy, cheap to grow and importantly they are extremely nutritious. The easiest way to grow your own sprouts is in a jar. Soak the seed overnight (with the exception of buckwheat which is soaked for just an hour) preferably in filtered water. Fix a piece of fine net or muslin over the jar, pour off the water, rinse well and drain. Rinse the sprouts morning and evening. It is important to keep them moist, warm and well drained. Between rinsing, place the jars upside down at an angle for ease of drainage. Once the sprouts are ready, rinse in a colander, drain, put in a bowl, cover and store in the fridge.

Sprouted Lentil Salad Serves 4 225g sprouted lentils 1 small lettuce, finely shredded 175g young spinach, finely shredded 1 x kohlrabi peeled and grated For the dressing:

3 tbsp olive oil knob of ginger grated 1 small chilli, seeded and finely chopped 1 dsp apple cider vinegar 1 dsp soy sauce Mix the dressing ingredients together, pour the dressing over the other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.


R E CIP ES F OR S UMME R by Chris Onions at the Old Dairy Kitchen Chilled Tomato Broth 1kg ripe tomatoes (choose a variety of types for a more interesting flavour) 2 tsp fine sea salt 2 small red onions (peeled) 2 garlic cloves (peeled) 6 large basil leaves 1.5 tsp cane sugar 2 tsp thyme leaves Firstly chop the tomatoes and red onions roughly. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and begin to puree using a food processor until smooth. Line a suitably sized sieve or colander with a muslin cloth, making sure it is large enough to hold all the pureed ingredients. Tip into the muslin cloth and place over a bowl to catch the clear liquid. Leave to drain in the fridge overnight. The liquid makes a refreshing chilled soup base with summer herbs and shaved fennel.

Chris Onions has been running the Old Dairy Kitchen at Trill Farm for three seasons now, successfully attracting people for Open Farm Lunches on Wednesdays and his delicious evening meals on specific days. Check the Trill website below for dates and times. www.trillfarm.co.uk

BUTTERNUT Squash Burgers Makes 10 burgers 500g cooked squash (peel, de-seed, cube and season with salt and a little olive oil and roast at 160 degrees) 350g aduki beans (soaked overnight then simmered in water until tender) 6 tbsp toasted and ground rye flakes 2 onions (finely chopped) 2 floury potatoes (peeled and grated) 2 eggs 4 garlic cloves (peeled and minced) 2 tsp toasted and ground cumin seeds 1 tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp cayenne pepper 100ml olive oil salt Fry the onion in the olive oil until tender, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices and gently fry for 1 minute, add the grated potato. Puree the cooked aduki beans and eggs until a paste consistency is reached. Add the squash and pulse until roughly mixed with beans and eggs. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and season well with salt. Form the burgers. Fry gently in olive oil until crisp on either side then bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.


LI FE IN THE T RILL STR EA MS by STEVE SHAW Summer time and the living is easy. Life in the Trill stream is buzzing with abundance as invertebrates reach the point of hatching, leaving the aquatic abode they have known as home for up to three years and breaking through the water surface to experience their new life on the outside. Life below the surface of the stream has to adapt to seasonal changes as well. Water temperatures increase with the rise in air temperatures, decreasing the amount of dissolved oxygen the water is able to carry. For some species of aquatic life, such as trout, oxygen levels can deplete to lethal levels if the water temperature exceeds 20 degrees. Shade, provided by trees and plants that line the banks of the stream, offers welcome relief, sheltering the water from direct sunlight. The shallow stickle runs help invigorate the stream as it descends through the valley, re-oxygenating and cooling the water. The flow rate of the river is also crucial, providing it with the ability to self clean, flushing the stream bed and reducing the build up of silt which could form a fertile bed for reed and cress to grow and in turn inhibit flow rates, impacting on the ecology of the river. To maintain healthy summer water levels, the existence of marshland is essential. Acting like a sponge, these areas have the ability to store and release water at a steady level throughout the year, topping up the supply from springs in the river’s headwater. The drainage of such areas, although offering short term agricultural benefits by increasing the acreage of workable land, has a lasting detrimental effect on the

catchment area, effectively removing the ability for the surrounding countryside to absorb surface water during rain fall and increasing the risk of flash floods and bank erosion down stream. Aquatic species found in streams serve as effective indicators of the health of a system. The presence of water louse could be a sign of organic pollution and low levels of oxygen. Identifying tubifex worms, otherwise known as sludge worms, may suggest things have got very serious and are heading towards an anaerobic environment. Nymphs of the Ephemeroptera or mayfly family are a welcome discovery as are stone fly nymphs. The Ephemeroptera nymph, identified by three short prongs at the tail, and the stone fly nymph with its two tail prongs, are invertebrates that thrive in well oxygenated streams clinging to the underside of stones. Regular invertebrate surveys can provide an invaluable record of the overall health of the surrounding ecosystem and act as an early warning system too! Generally, a busy stream is a healthy stream. Next time you are passing one, take your shoes off and go for a paddle. Explore, connect and enjoy what it has to offer. You may be amazed at what you find!

Steve Shaw cares for Trill ponds, streams and gardens as well as running a hatching programme for the River Axe. He’s a keen fisherman and keeps a close eye on local conservation issues.


A Z ero C arbon Britain in an all- Renewab le World by Godfrey Boyle In Paris this December the nations of the world will decide on a series of greenhouse gas reduction measures aimed at keeping global temperature rises below 2 degrees – the level most experts agree should not be exceeded. Just before the Paris conference, on November 7th, Trill is running a Zero Carbon Britain workshop to explore the measures needed if the UK is to limit, and eventually eliminate, its emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-warming ‘greenhouse gases’. Leading the Trill workshop will be Peter Harper, one of the principal authors of a series of Zero Carbon Britain (ZCB) reports from the Centre for Alternative Technology – the most recent in 2014. These reports envisage the UK being powered entirely by renewable energy sources by 2030. This would be achieved through ‘Powering Down’ – reducing energy demand without reducing quality of life; and ‘Powering Up’ – deploying renewable energies on a large scale and very fast. The ZCB scenarios are based on a detailed hourly model of UK energy supply and demand. In it, the majority of renewable electricity comes from a very large amount of wind power, onshore and offshore. On many occasions this supply will exceed electricity demand, and the ZCB researchers propose a ‘power to gas’ process. In this, surplus renewable electricity would

be converted into hydrogen, which is then combined with carbon dioxide from biomass to produce methane. This can be then be distributed and stored in the existing UK gas grid, and burned in the UK’s conventional backup power stations (which normally burn fossil methane) when there is a deficit of renewable electricity. In addition, some of the hydrogen and carbon dioxide are converted to a synthetic liquid fuel, methanol, which can be used as a substitute for gasoline in many vehicles.

95% of Global Energy from Renewables by 2050

A global-scale study showing that this is feasible was published by the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in its 2011 Energy Report (WWF, 2011b), based on analysis by the Dutch energy consultancy Ecofys. It shows how, in the decades to 2050, the world could implement major energy saving measures, reducing the massive waste that is present in our current energy systems. Simultaneously it could phase in a mixture of wind, solar, geothermal, hydro and biomass energy sources to provide 95% of the world’s final energy demand. These scenarios and several others are described in more detail in a free Open University on-line course “Can Renewable Energy Power the World?” for which I’m the lead educator.


For further information: Trill one day Workshop “Towards a Zero Carbon Britain”, November 7th 2015 www.trillfarm.co.uk CAT Zero Carbon Britain Project zerocarbonbritain.com Open University free online course “Can Renewable Energy Power the World?” www.open.edu

Godfrey Boyle Emeritus Professor of Renewable Energy The Open University


Summer salads


romy & rosa


summer cucumbers growing in the veg garden


Joe with a new batch of lavender soap


O ur comm unity Ruth is now running the Trill Farm wood-working workshop. It has become a new centre of activity for courses and all things to do with wood. Trill Farm has 50 acres of mixed woodland and finally we are making use of some of the oaks and ashes that have fallen across the paths. Jolyon ran a great Open Farm Sunday. Thank you to everyone that made it so successful - Trill Farm truly is becoming a lovely place to visit. Zoe has been putting the finishing touches to our new Summer Box for your enjoyment. It’s better than ever, we are loving coming up with the ideas, so sign up for Autumn and Winter now! Don’t forget our Summer Party on 31st July. We will be welcoming Gail, the extraordinary boat builder, back to give a talk and entertain us with a group of sea shanty singers. See you there!

THIS TRILL SEASONAL BOX WAS A GROUP EFFORT Zoe does the overall coordination. Ash and Kate have grown our exciting living salads. Chris has made the delicious food for the box. Joe has made all the fragrant soaps and beauty products. Sandie made the candles and helps all the products come to fruition. Jane keeps the accounts immaculate and the rest of us in order. Tamsin brings our ideas to life from the first creative seed to the final product. Photos by Rebecca Bernstein


Jolyon Chesworth is Director of Education of The Trill Trust, having previously worked for 15 years as a marine ecologist, conservationist and educator for wildlife conservation organisations. He is passionate about providing opportunities for people to re-connect with nature.


Musbury, Devon, EX13 8TU post@trillfarm.co.uk 01297 631113

Photos by Rebecca Bernstein

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Trill Farm Summer Seasons Booklet 2015  

Trill Farm Summer Seasons Booklet 2015  

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