Trill Farm seed variety field lab update

Trill Farm - 03 September 2013


Varieties sown are Student, Imperial Crown, Hollow Crown and the control is Tender and True. On the first visit on 21 May the parsnips were only just beginning to show.

On 3 September Tender and True and Imperial Crown both showed good germination rates at 90%. Student and Hollow Crown were patchier at about 65% germination.


Leek varieties were sown 27 March into modules. The control variety did not germinate. 2 to 3 seeds were hand sown into each module. Germination % follows name:

  • Toledo 80% 
  • Blue Solaise 40% 
  • Winter Giant 80%, leafy
  • Northern Lights 60%, patchy, could be due to uneven warming cables 
  • Long De Mezieres 70%, promising

On 3 September all above varieties had recently been planted out as modules, all on equal areas, having used the best modules from each variety. Planting out was late because of harvesting and marketing pressures over the warm weather in July and August. Variety Blue Solaise was notable due to its poor germination and weakest looking plants after transplant.


Yield and quality data has been collected from time of first pick up to 3 September. All yields are based on pickings from 5 plants.

Variety Date first pick Total yield Comments
Stupice 5 August 1.975kg Regular and uniform crop
Harbinger 14 August 1.100kg 50% splitting, poor quality
Black Russion 5 August 2.005kg Large beef tomato good flavour
Martina (control) 24 July 3.200kg Round, best yield, tasty, reliable
Rosella 30 July 1.345kg Small cherry type
Ildi 5 August 0.720kg Plum cherry type with large trusses
Chocolate Cherry 6 August 1.520kg Brown large cherry type
British Breakfast 6 August 1.390kg Late maturing
Bloody Butcher 5 August 2.690kg Tasty regular size
Galina 30 July 1.175kg Small yellow, tasty, poor pollination
Jens Tangerine 30 July 2.790kg Sweet fragrant flavour, no grade outs

Trill Farm is a 300 acre mixed organic farm set in the rolling hills and woodlands of east Devon, close to the Jurassic coast. Romy Fraser and her family bought the farm in 2008 with the aim of developing an education centre, and community of small businesses based on the farm, working together to use resources of the diverse landscape. Ashley and Kate came to run the vegetable garden in 2010 and began selling to local restaurants, specialising in salads.

The seed variety field lab is looking into Open Pollinated (OP) seed varieties available to non-organic growers and trialling them in organic systems with a view to either creating a demand for them organically or saving them on farm for use in subsequent years. The field lab is part of the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme which is aiming to improve productivity, quality and environmental performance in organic and low-input agriculture.

Trill Fm Black Russian.jpgTrill Fm Bloody butcher.jpgTrill Fm British breakfast.jpgTrill Fm Chocolate cherry.jpgTrill Fm Galina.jpgTrill Fm Harbinger.jpgTrill Fm Ildi.jpgTrill Fm JenTrill Fm Matina.jpgTrill Fm Rosella.jpgTrill Fm Stupice.jpg

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Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation Open Pollinated Seeds

Moles Seeds The Real Seed Catalogue