Thursday, December 6, 2012


This Red Chard was sown at the end of August, after the Charlotte potatoes were harvested  and should keep producing right through the winter. A very attractive cut and come again crop which we think is seriously under rated. To cook, cut up reasonably small, quickly stir fry in a little butter and olive oil, season and serve. Delicious!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Amazing automated garlic planter.  The Keith.

Here we have the amazing automated garlic planter......The Keith.
The left arm moves over the green bucket activating the five fingered grab. It lowers in and auto selects ten cloves immediately turning the first clove so that it is root end down in the fingertips. Simultaneously the right arm moves across the ridge complete with attached dibber and drops into the ridge top making a 3 inch deep hole. As it does so the left arm moves across and presses the clove, right way up,  into the hole with extended fifth digit. The right arm has already moved and the dibber is on its downwards path towards the ridge top to make the next hole. Meanwhile the left hand has already auto selected the next clove and deftly turned it root end down. The  two legs move forward in a steady rhythm and the two computerised ` eyes ` in the head of the machine are able to correct any misalignments in an instant.
 `The Keith ` runs on biofuels, and is very environmentally friendly, the best mix being 2 parts hops to one part oats She can get a bit heavy on the hops after a hard day and struggles up some inclines when ground conditions are soft but otherwise 100% reliable.

The last of the Vallelado going in on a lovely warm, sunny afternoon in November.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Its hard to believe the summer and now the autumn has gone ! What have we been doing since June ? Yes it has been dreadful with yields down by over 50% in most cases, plenty of unwanted fungal diseases, not enough sunshine and mud on everything ! We have had to work so hard for less,  which could be depressing but surprisingly, when you realise that everyone is in the same boat and that some of your produce is better than some others,, you actually feel quite pleased that you have survived at all. Lots of encouragement from customers has also helped bolster our spirits.
We now have everything safely gathered in apart from the pink Jerusalem artichokes which are dug to order and are currently being sold through French Garden at Bristol Market.

Here are a few highlights from 2012
Frome Cheese Show
Bunching up Statice and Larkspur for market
Garlic drying

The flower girls !
Buckets of Statice coming in from the field.
Phacelia. Wonderful for attracting polinating insects and as a green manure.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mark Dodson`s recipe for Sea Bass and Green Garlic

 Fillet of Sea Bass with Green Garlic (4 Portions)
4 x 150g Fillets of Sea Bass
100g Green Garlic (Outer skin removed, and broken into cloves)
100g Leek
200g Carrots
140g Samphire
30g Butter
50ml Noilly Prat (or Dry Vermouth)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
120g Crème Fraîche


Cut the Carrots and Leeks into a fine Julienne and sweat without colour for 1 minute in the butter, add ½ of the Vermouth and then reserve.
 In a very hot pan with a little Olive Oil sear the Sea Bass only on the skin side.
Cut 4 squares of Tin Foil 30cm by 30cm and in the centre of each drizzle a little Olive Oil, onto this place the Carrot and Leek Julienne and then the Sea Bass Fillet, around the edge place the Samphire and on top of the fish place the Garlic and some Sea Salt.
Fold the Tin Foil to form a parcel ensuring the edges are tightly closed.
Pre-heat a baking sheet in the oven at 200°c and onto this place the four parcels.
Bake for 15 minutes and then take out of the oven.
ServingWith a Fish Slice carefully remove the contents of the parcel and place onto a warm plate ensuring that you have all of the cooking juices, just to one side of the fish put a good spoon of the Crème Fraîche, season the Garlic and the Bass with a little more Sea Salt and serve immediately.

Absolutely lovely !

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mark Dodson of the one star Michelin pub and restaurant, The  Masons Arms, Knowstone creating a mouth watering dish of Sea Bass and green garlic. Delicious ! Thank you Mark.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Green Garlic packed for Total Produce ( Growfair )  heading for the South West
Drought combat methods.

Its hard to believe we had to come up with this method of watering in newly planted plugs just a few short weeks ago when all was so dry !!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Press Release. North Devon Journal

1 of 2/…

Growers of Vegetables,
Foliage and Flowers


For the attention of Rosanna Rothery, North Devon Journal, 3.5.12
Green Garlic puts North Devon on the Gourmet Food Map

A North Devon commercial grower is putting the region on the specialist food map with a product highly prized by food gourmets but rarely produced in the UK. RADLEY CROSS MARKET GARDEN, near South Molton, is the largest grower of ‘green garlic’ in the South West, and one of just a handful of suppliers in the UK. The green garlic, also known as ‘wet garlic’, will be in season in a few weeks’ time, and within days will be distributed throughout the South West by wholesaler Bristol Fruit Sales under its Growfair brand. Some of the RADLEY CROSS green garlic will also be destined for New Covent Garden, from there finding its way to top delicatessens and restaurants in London.
Green Garlic has a very short season, like asparagus, and is not widely known about in the UK,” explains Ant Pelly, who runs RADLEY CROSS MARKET GARDEN with his wife Penny. “Our garlic is grown outdoors, and it is harvested when it is very young, before the bulb has divided into separate cloves. It is delicious, and extremely good for you!”
Green garlic is not an obvious choice for a UK vegetable grower, but Ant never shies away from a challenge. “We were on a visit to Covent Garden and we saw some imported green garlic from Egypt. It was small and unappetising, and that started me wondering if I could do better. It’s not really a UK crop at all, it’s a Mediterranean crop, but I liked the idea of growing it here. I do have a tendency to think, ‘what can I do that looks reasonably impossible?’ Then I’ll do it! It’s a crazy idea, but great fun.”
And there’s no doubt that Ant has succeeded with his ‘crazy idea’. He’s a man with the greenest of green fingers, combined with widespread horticultural expertise and a farming ethos based on sustainability. His land near Bishops Nympton is well suited to the green garlic crop, with south facing slopes, plenty of rain and free draining clay loam. “We work hard to prepare the soil over many months, using green manure crops and organic matter,” says Ant. “The end result is that my green garlic is bigger, fatter and juicier than the overseas green garlic. It is also entirely chemical free.” Cont.

Tel. 01769 550639 Radley Cross Market Garden, East Radley, Bishops Nympton, South Molton, EX36 4PB

2 of 2/…

Press release - Green garlic puts North Devon on the gourmet food map. Cont.

Ant has long experience as a garlic grower, being previously based in Northumberland. Here he specialised in the better known dried garlic, and ran the wonderfully named Snods Edge Garlic Festival, which offered everything from garlic beer to garlic ice cream. He has only recently started producing green garlic, after moving to North Devon 3 years ago.
The annual green garlic crop is keenly awaited by top UK chefs, including North Devon’s Mark Dodson, chef at the award winning one star Michelin restaurant at the Masons Arms in Knowstone. “We always look forward to the green garlic season and try to make the most of it. Green garlic has a beautiful taste, it is a subtle flavour, and much less pungent than dried garlic. You can just cut the whole bulb in half and roast it with a joint, or combine it with fish or light meats. Green garlic is not available in supermarkets so it tends to get overlooked but it is a fabulous product. We’ll be using the RADLEY CROSS green garlic as soon as it is ready.”
Ant’s green garlic is available at two farm shops in North Devon. “We put it in our veg boxes and we always get good feedback,” says Rob Cooper, Partner at Orchards Farm Shop based at St John ‘s Garden Centre in Barnstaple. “It is something different and we put a leaflet in explaining how to use green garlic. It is a real bonus to have someone growing it locally and it’s nice to support a local business. People are not really aware of green garlic, so when the season starts, we like to really shout about it!”
Ted Bath, owner of Witheridge Farm Shop, is a huge fan of Ant’s green garlic. “I love it because it is local, but I sell it because it is good! In fact it is stunning. A lot of my customers are cooks and they look forward to it. When it’s in and it’s on the shelf, it is snapped up. For me, it’s a treat and it heralds the start of the summer. It has that Mediterranean feel to it. You can almost taste the sunshine. All you need is some asparagus, new potatoes, early tomatoes and Ant’s green garlic and you’re in heaven! ”

Editors’ notes
  1. Attached photos of Ant and Penny Pelly, green garlic growing, green garlic picked, Chef Mark Dobson at work, Mason’s Arms in Knowstone.
  2. Radley Cross Market Garden also grows Charlotte Potatoes and Pink Fir Apple Potatoes, Pink Jerusalem Artichokes, a variety of squashes, dried garlic and hot smoked garlic and a selection of flowers.
  3. For more information see
  4. Radley Cross Market Garden is a member of LEAF, Linking Environment And Farming.
  5. For more information contact Ant Pelly on 01769 550639 or 07841 701244. Or email Ant at: radleyxmarketgarden
  6. Press release issued by ND Media.

Tel. 01769 550639 Radley Cross Market Garden, East Radley, Bishops Nympton, South Molton, EX36 4PB

Monday, May 7, 2012

 Green Garlic 6th May

This will be sold as green garlic in 3 to 4 weeks time. Currently it looks very good and the bulb should start to swell shortly giving us the big fat juicy green garlic that we love so much. Every 10 days we give it a dose of seaweed solution which corrects any trace element deficiencies. It is a great foliar feed for just about anything and is a natural product.
Poor Caroline!!

A small break in the weather saw us out planting Statice on the bank Holiday weekend in the freezing cold ( for May ) . Caroline came to stay for a nice relaxing weekend in the country !

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The new pack house

The new pack house

This purpose built packhouse ( being neatly inserted into an old cob building!) will allow us to have a clean, cool environment to pack and store our vegetables and flowers.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Nitrogen usage

Read a very good article by Steve Jones in The Daily Telegraph today ( p27) about our reliance on nitrogen in Agriculture and how this could give us all a bit of a hangover in the future which will be on the scale of carbon dioxide emissions. Nitrous oxide is one of the main breakdown products of excess fertilizer use and this is a greenhouse gas several times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Another very good reason to support growers like us who do not use manufactured fertilizers ! It is quite possible to achieve  the same results using green manure crops and a balanced rotation.