Daphne Lambert On Summer Abundance and A Recipe For Pea Salad

4 Jun 2018 | 0 comments

Eating seasonally is at the core of Daphne Lambert's Living Nutrition retreats at Trill. 

"I love summer, but then I love all the seasons and feel so grateful to live where I can experience the yearly cycle of spring, summer, autumn & winter. At the moment, however, I am enjoying the longer days & the colourful plants of summer. 

I have spent the last week harvesting the early summer abundance and my kitchen is full of preserves – rose jelly, pickled ox eye daisy buds, elderflower vinegar, raspberry & basil shrub, horsetail powder, lovage vodka and fat hen pesto – each one capturing a little summer sunshine."

Join Daphne for her forthcoming Summer Living Nutrition Retreat and learn to preserve and harness the health benefits of the summer harvest. Examine our relationship with food and why we choose the foods we eat. Discover nutrient rich recipes and enjoy eating delicious plates of summer morsels outside whilst sipping pretty summer drinks.


Broad Bean & Pea Salad with Semi-Dried Tomatoes & Mint

Serves 6

6 handfuls of washed summer leaves
olive oil

  • 6 handfuls of podded broad beans, blanched and skins removed

  • 1 handful of blanched almonds, slivered & toasted

  • 1 handful of mint, roughly torn

  • 9 finely shredded semi-dried tomatoes

Pea Dressing

  • 250g podded peas

  • 1 handful of mint
juice & zest of 1 lemon

  • salt & pepper,
  • 1 clove garlic
8 tablespoons olive oil
25g hard cheese shavings (optional)
nasturtium flowers

Blitz together the dressing ingredients adding a little water if necessary to make a smooth cream. Toss the salad leaves in a little olive oil and divide between 6 plates. Scatter over the broad beans. Put three spoonfuls of dressing on to the salad. Scatter over the semi-dried tomatoes, mint & almonds and, if using, the cheese shavings. Top with nasturtium flowers.

Living Nutrition takes place on 29 June - 1 July. Residential and non-residential options available. Discover more here...

Throwing Pots and Making Candles

1 Nov 2017 | 0 comments

The Trill Farm candle pots are skilfully thrown by Bryony in our little pottery. It’s a place of focused, energy in the midst of the activity of the farm’s central courtyard. Romy set up the pottery in order to spend more time being creative and to develop her throwing skills. After 10 years of being at Trill Farm she’s now started to dedicate a few hours a week to making pots.

The candles are made with a blend of our Trill Farm beeswax and a little vegetable wax. The beeswax is gathered from the hives at the edge of the water meadow, in their own deep and wild hedgerow between the cows and the ponds.

Bees are heroes ensuring that pollination happens and as an added benefit we use their honey and a little beeswax. We like to think that there’s a little bit of bee-hero energy in each of the handmade candles.

Here’s to a future of more pots and hives full of healthy bees.

The candle has a spicy warm fragrance of bay leaves and is available as part of our Winter hamper available from from our online shop.

Inside the Winter Hamper: Trill Winter Soap

5 Nov 2017 | 0 comments

We make soap because it’s something we all need.

Our soap making business was set up at Trill eight years ago. When Romy sold Neal’s Yard Remedies to establish an organic educational centre at Trill Farm the soap business moved with her. This was an opportunity, not just to make money to contribute to the costs of the farm, but also to create an educational model; a soap business is an excellent example of a responsible small enterprise that provides training for people all over the world interested in creating a small simple business.

Today the soap workshop runs classes in soap making as well as making good use of the botanical ingredients cultivated in our herb gardens and growing wild in our fields and hedgerows. We harness the properties of these natural ingredients by infusing them in oils and alcohols, which are then used as ingredients in our creams, balms, soaps and body oils. Our workshop has recently been through a period of change and we’ve just taken on a new soap maker called Alex, so the future is looking good.

Our Winter Soap includes ingredients from the herb garden:

Nettle: Harvested in spring and early summer, the properties of the nettles are extracted into sunflower oil through gentle heating. Nettles are very versatile, and great for the skin and hair.

Comfrey: Harvested in the summer, this is dried before macerating in sunflower oil over gentle heat. It’s a herb that traditionally helps with stiffness and muscular problems. It also gives the soap it’s great green colour.

A little bit of history

When Romy created Neal’s Yard Remedies in 1981 (36 years ago!) she wanted everything to be as natural and health-giving as possible, but when it came to making soaps this was a tricky one. With a house in France surrounded by olive groves and lavender bushes, it seemed mad to ship all the oils back to the UK to turn into soap. With disappearing employment in the foothills of the Larzac, Romy asked two local young women to make soap for Neal’s Yard Remedies. After an awful lot of trials, the lavender soap was born, shipped to London and distributed across the country.

The Winter Soap is part of our Winter Hamper, available now to pre-order from our our online shop.

Celebrating the Best of Trill Farm

5 Oct 2017 | 0 comments

Trill Farm Winter Hamper

With the changing seasons we never quite know what to expect, but one thing for sure is that we are preparing our most wonderful hamper yet.

Trill Farm is home to a group of producers who work together with a mutual respect for each other and the land. We are creating a community by encouraging diversity - in the land, the wildlife and agriculture, the people and the activities. It is our future that we want to share, and our products aim to reflect this.

There are seven weeks to go and counting. Some products are still in the ground, some are already made, some are being crafted and some are still being formulated. This is how it works at Trill Farm - the plan is set but nature dictates much of the process. We only create a limited number of boxes because we believe this is how we get the best quality from our land.

Our farmers and craftspeople are here because we share the same values. We grow, harvest, forage, design, craft, cook and create within the growing capacity of the fields, hedgerows and woods. What the land provides each season determines what is made. Each product reflects the coming together of our enterprises; using their skills and passions, and the produce from our beautiful land to create a unique gift.

After some careful thought and a lot of consultation the hamper will contain the following products.

  • Winter soap - made by Rich in the Trill Soap workshop
  • Nourishing facial oil - made by Trill Farm herbs
  • Winter body oil - made by Trill Farm herbs
  • Winter tea - made by Trill Farm herbs
  • Hedgerow mixer - made by Daphne Lambert
  • Chocolate covered plums - made by Daphne Lambert
  • Blackberry, fig, port & thyme preserve - made by Daphne Lambert
  • Fennel & sea salt crackers - made by Chris The Old Dairy Kitchen
  • Wooden cheese board - crafted by Ruth in the Wood Workshop
  • Tomato seeds - grown by Ash and Kate in Trill Farm Garden
  • Ceramic pot with bay scented candle - ceramics made by Graham Newing and Romy Fraser, filled with Trill beeswax blended into beautiful candles by Sandie
  • Four botanical cocktail recipe cards - recipes by Daphne Lambert and Illustrations by Louise Throp

Over the coming weeks we’re going to share a little about the life of the products before they leave the farm, the people who make them, the skills they have and the challenges they face.

Badger Vaccination at Trill

2 Oct 2017 | 0 comments

“That most ancient Briton of English beasts”, as the poet Edward Thomas once described Mr Brock (the Old English name for the badger) has rarely had an easy relationship with man. The badger is now our largest land carnivore and has been burrowing these isles for over 500,000 years. During this time they have been vilified in folklore as harbingers of death, described as vermin and blamed for crop damage and predation of game, livestock and other wildlife. They were the subject of widespread persecution and “sport” in the form of baiting, whereby they were either dug out of their setts, or chased out by terriers, and set upon by large dogs. Despite now benefiting from high levels of legal protection they are still baited, snared and gassed illegally.

Public attitudes towards badgers have shifted somewhat, due in part to the portrayal of Mr Badger as a fatherly, morally upstanding character by Kenneth Grahame in The Wind in The Willows. This hugely influential story paved the way for a more positive and rigorous approach to understanding these animals, old myths and legends were debunked and a more accurate picture of badgers emerged, proving them to be highly social and complex animals with fascinating habits.

The dark loving badger is often again in the glare of the spotlight, continuing to polarize opinion, this time over their role in the transmission of Bovine tuberculosis (bTB). The views of the Government and the National Farmers Union are that culling up to 70% of badger populations in bTB hotspots is necessary. Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire will see a another year of culling. At Trill, bTB has been a source of frustration but we do not believe that culling badgers is the way forward and we would not allow the badgers on our land to be shot. Rather than sitting around and waiting to see what happens, we decided back in 2015 that we would be proactive in helping with an alternative solution, badger vaccination.

Somerset Badger Group is made up of extremely dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers, trained and licensed to carry out badger vaccinations. All summer, Somerset Badger Group, their colleagues from Dorset Badger Group and ourselves have been surveying the Trill setts, identifying locations, activity and where possible, badger numbers.

Throughout September, we initiated our annual vaccination programme, by placing peanuts every evening in specific locations around five active setts on the farm. This feeding gets the badgers used to taking the ‘bait’ and our scent and activity around their homes. After a week of this feeding, cage traps were introduced and again each evening peanuts were placed inside the traps to get the badgers acquainted with them. After a further week of this, over a period of two nights, the traps were set to capture any badger that went inside.

Capturing a wild animal is never a particularly pleasant thing to do and I wasn’t sure what to expect when, at 5am, walking through the woods on a beautiful and misty morning, we went to check the traps. I was pleased and surprised to find that the badgers we had caught seemed quiet and not anxious in their traps, it was the first time I had seen a badger so close and their brilliantly defined stripes and silver grey coats seemed to shimmer in the early morning light. The process of injection was over in a blink and the trap door was opened for the badger to be released. Rather than bolting for the nearest hole, a number of the badgers stayed in their traps and had to be cajoled out, before ambling into the bushes, none the worse for their experience.

Two things struck me as I watched the badger in its trap; the dedication, passion and hard work of the volunteers who give up enormous amounts of time, and their beds, to help look after our beautiful wildlife in the face of ever increasing threats and how, when facing these badgers, I would much rather see them vaccinated than to pull the trigger.