Phew, what a relief !
It is with great pleasure that I can announce the 2016 British Quinoa harvest complete, and what a season it has been. The Spring started off very cold and wet, making the progress of planting, and the emergence of the quinoa very slow. Have a look back at my Spring video to remind yourself how things looked:
Fortunately, the early Spring and Summer perked up, allowing the crop to grow away rapidly, and it fortunately caught back up to where it need to be for the time of season. We had a real mixed bag of weed competition, with crops ranging from super clean to quite challenging – don’t forget that we don’t use any herbicides at all on our quinoa so we rely on cultural controls such as crop competition to do the work for us. Nonetheless we love a challenge and fortunately the weedier crops came good in the end, growing taller than most of the weeds and outcompeting them.
In late August we started to take our first cuts of the new seasons crop, and as always our grower Emily in Bath was the first to get going. Pretty soon my Dad and I started to harvest the quinoa on our own farm in Shropshire and we were pleased with both the yield and quality (two very important factors for any crop!). We were visited by our friend David Gregory-Kumar from BBC Midlands Today to report on the harvest progress, if you missed it you can catch up below:
Just as we were nearly wrapping up the harvest we had a VIP visit from our friends at Pret-A-Manger who came up to Joe’s farm in Nottingham to see how this year’s crop was looking. We showed them the crop being harvested, dried and cleaned all in one day…. it was a very busy day indeed to cram that all in. Many of Pret’s products use our quinoa grains (they love to source locally wherever they can) so next time you buy one of their quinoa salads don’t forget to tell them how lovely it was!
I’m certainly looking forward to having a little break over the winter, until planting starts again next Spring…. it will soon come around fast enough I’m sure!