Recipes for Autumn

3 Sep 2018 | 0 comments

Summer is like the hard boil and what’s left after all that heat and activity is the dark, sweet Autumn.

Knowing we’ve had our fill of zesty, bright flavours, October brings back the earthy richness and with it, the local Game season begins again. We revel in this season, paying homage to the wild meat that comes through the door of the Old Dairy Kitchen. With a Game Feast and two Game Butchery courses, you would be right to think that it’s a highlight. Although we don’t hibernate and have much to look forward to through the winter, we certainly appreciate the slowing down and changing gear before the darkest season sets in, and Autumn’s flavours help us to make the transition in the most delicious way.


Makes 1 small terrine.

200g venison mince
100g rabbit mince
100g pork mince
100g salt pork or bacon, minced
75ml white wine
10 juniper berries, chopped
salt and pepper
16 hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Test the seasoning by frying a small piece of the mixture and adjusting to taste. When you are satisfied, line a terrine or bread tin with a double layer of cling film and fill with the meat mixture. Cover tightly with a sheet of tin foil. Bake in a bain-marie in the oven at 140°C, until the core temperature reaches 72°C (when tested with a thermometer).
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge overnight with a weight on top to compress the meat.
Slice and serve with some crunchy pickles or a Cumberland sauce.



20 chestnut mushrooms, chopped into quarters
2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp cider vinegar
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 tsp sugar
15 tbsp olive oil
10 sage leaves, finely sliced
10 peppercorns
1 dried chilli

Sprinkle the quartered mushrooms with salt and mix well. Leave them to marinate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan on the stove.
Squeeze a little of the water from the mushrooms and toast them in the dry pan for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them burning. Keep the pan on a high heat.
Add the dried chilli, garlic, peppercorns and sage to the pan, mix briefly. Add the vinegar and sugar and return to the boil. Lastly, pour in the olive oil and mix well.
Pour into sterilised jars and seal. This preserve will keep for 6 months if unopened and kept in a cool place.


500g plump juicy brambles
3 sprigs rosemary
100ml lemon juice
125g unsalted butter
450g granulated sugar
200ml strained beaten egg

Put the fruit and rosemary in a pan with the lemon juice. Bring slowly to a simmer, stirring often, until the fruit starts to release its juice, then simmer gently for five to ten minutes until the fruit has collapsed. Remove the rosemary from the softened fruit and push the fruit through a sieve or purée in a food processor.
Put the purée, butter and sugar into a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir continuously until the butter is completely melted. Take off the heat and let it cool for a minute – you don’t want it to be too hot when you pour in the eggs, or they will scramble. It should be cool enough that you can comfortably put your finger into it.
Pour in the strained beaten egg, whisking all the while. Return the pan to the heat and stir the mixture over the simmering water until thick and creamy and registering at least 82°C on a thermometer. The length of time is very dependent on the quantity you are making but it will take around 20 minutes. It’s important to take your time here, the curd is much less likely to get too hot and scramble than if you cooked it directly in a pan. If the curd does start to scramble, take it off the heat and whisk vigorously until smooth.
As soon as it has thickened, pour the curd into hot jars and seal. Leave to cool before labelling. Use the curd within four weeks; once opened, keep in the fridge and use within a week.

Chris Onions runs the Old Dairy Kitchen. He caters for all our events, courses and farm lunches, produces delicious treats for sale and teaches his own courses. Chris also hosts his own monthly dinner series and runs other events. 

Harvesting Energy

3 Sep 2018 | 0 comments

Here at Trill Farm, harvesting does not just mean picking salad, collecting honey from the hives or cutting the hay. We also harvest as much energy as we can from the environment around us.

We aim to generate as much energy as we can and as cleanly as possible, demonstrating sustainable energy production and use, with examples of both solar photovoltaic panels and thermal panels, ground source heat pumps, wind turbines, sustainable timber and energy harvested from our waste.

We have over 100 solar panels on the farm, producing energy to sell to Good Energy, our renewable energy supplier.

Our ecologically renovated guest house has a ground source heat pump, which takes advantage of the relatively constant temperature just a couple of metres or so under the ground to provide all the hot water and heating we need.

The heating for our workshops comes from firewood, chopped from trees blown down by the wind in our woods. The beauty of firewood is that it warms you three times over; when you chop it, when you move it and again when you finally burn it (which Rich and our volunteers can testify to!) We also leave some fallen wood for the wildlife and fungi to eat and live in, and allow new trees to grow up in the spaces left by those that have fallen, ensuring that the woods continue to soak up as much carbon dioxide as possible.

Our eco-campsite utilises a number of different energy sources; a small wind turbine on the end of the linhay charges a battery for a few electric lights in the darker evenings. In the solar thermal panels, the sun heats spring water which is then stored in an insulated tank to provide plentiful hot water for the showers (and what an experience, to shower under an open sky on a fresh autumn morning, with hot water steaming around you and plump blackberries hanging over your head for a sneaky breakfast!)

The compost toilets in the campsite provide us with a different type of energy; when mixed with sawdust and left to decompose for a couple of years, our summertime deposits make a fantastic, rich (and clean) compost to add to the soil, providing nutrients and energy to help the plants to grow.

The raw food waste produced on the farm goes to Ash and Kate’s compost heap, along with chippings from the willow field and sawdust from the chicken coop, providing fertility to the vegetable garden.

We know that we are very fortunate to have the resources to enable us to harvest so much energy on the farm, but what could you do at home? Composting your food waste (either in your garden or through your council recycling scheme) is a good place to start. If you like the idea of solar panels or wind turbines, but can’t get them for your own house, why not consider switching to a renewable energy supplier? There are lots of competitive options out there now, so you could save money as well as the planet!


3 Sep 2018 | 0 comments


CONTAINS: Volatile oil, vitamins A, B, C, fats, amino acids, mucilage, glucokinins, germanium

KEY USES: Antiseptic, digestive, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, decongestant, antioxidant, hypotensive, reduces cholesterol, vasodilator, hypoglycemic, cholagogue, antispasmodic

Garlic is an effective remedy against bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections. Raw garlic when crushed releases allicin, which has been shown to be more powerfully antibiotic than penicillin and tetracycline.

Garlic can be used for sore throats, colds, flu, bronchial and lung infections, infections in the gut and to help re-establish beneficial bacterial population after an infection or orthodox antibiotic treatment. It is an effective remedy for worms as well as for candidiasis, and thrush in the mouth or vagina when used locally. Garlic improves digestion, relieves wind and distension, enhances absorption and assimilation of food.

It also enhances the production of insulin by the pancreas, making it an excellent remedy to lower blood sugar in diabetics.

Garlic acts as a decongestant. It is an excellent expectorant remedy for acute and chronic bronchitis, whooping cough and bronchial asthma, as well as sinusitis, chronic catarrh, hay fever and rhinitis. By causing sweating it helps resolve fevers. It can significantly lower blood cholesterol.

Garlic also reduces blood pressure and a tendency to clotting, thereby helping to prevent heart attacks and strokes. It opens up the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to the tissues, increasing the circulation, relieving cramps and circulatory disorders. Recent research has shown that garlic acts as a powerful antioxidant and its sulphur compounds have anti-tumour activities, while it is also said to protect the body against the effects of pollution and nicotine.

Anne runs a seasonal course in experiential herbalism at Trill Farm, using the herb gardens and hedgerows to teach the practical side of using herbs.