The impact of our choices at Melilot - integrating herbal leys, running our own compost trials and sticking by no-till practices - is made plain by the quality of our crops: more variety, higher nutrition and better flavour.
Coming to the end of our first year of trials, we are currently growing seeds from both Dan Barber’s Row 7 and the late innovator Calvin Lamborn, reinstating the value of breeding to enhance biodiversity.
Three varieties grown from seed - Arad, Spiky and Romanesco - these have turned into perennial powerhouses of flavour. Undersown with clover and trefoil, their nutritional content is seriously complex.
Badger Flame Beets
A game-changing Row 7 beet: insanely sweet raw or roasted, with bright, fine flesh that's tender from leaf to tip.
Petite Snap Greens
Grown from seeds given to Franco by Rod Lamborn, for the first ever trials in the UK. Tall, leafy shoots with deep-set minerality and sugars.
Royal Snow Peas
The clear winner of our Lamborn pea trials, these present a bright, sharp flavour and a totally different take on the fresh pea.
These represent the core mission of this project: creating our own supply for central varieties. Green, Romana and Goldrush, each chosen for its unique nutritional make-up and flavour.
A Row 7 variety bred for pure, mind-blowing flavour, 7082 cucs represent a revolution in both farming and the kitchen. Bitter, complex flavour unlike anything else we’ve ever tasted.
Trials of flavour-first varieties including Watermelon, Green Luobo and Black Spanish. No dig beds, meaning the roots max out on embedded organic matter.
Untreated herbs are almost unheard of - their delicate nature too sensitive for conventional supply chains to handle. Our project allows us to introduce varieties rarely grown in the UK: Shiso, Mexican Marigold, Chamomile.
Rarely grown in the UK, we’re cultivating two varieties of Celtuce on the farm: Purple Sword and Green Mountain. Grown slowly, the entire stalk is tender.
Fist-sized heads presenting a totally different concept of baby salads, one driven by complexity of flavour and texture rather than aesthetics.
Red Baron Onions
Red Baron were the first variety of organic red onion to be grown in the UK for commercial purposes. Relegated to dry harvest, we’re almost alone to be harvesting them fresh.
A red-skinned, waxy variety. With these, we’re creating our own supply of the small, new season potatoes chefs look for.
Jimmy Nardello Peppers
A central variety over at our NYC hub, this was a key variety in our trial year. Cooler growing conditions mean they reached their peak green, but their aromatic, complex profile is fully defined.
A staple variety for many chefs, we are keen to create our own supply. The higher the growing temperature, the hotter the flavour.