When you ask Thelma and Ron Sansom how long they have been in a watercress business they would say 200 years. Their Nine Wells Watercress Farm, situated on a meandering village road in Whitwell, certainly feels this way: matured, sustainable, traditionally run in line with the passing seasons. Even the honesty box seem to be a humble reminder of the old days…

We visited the farm on a freezing December morning. The sun was shyly peeking through bare trees to the greenish fields of freshly cut cress. Ron showed us around and proudly explained particulars of cultivating watercress.

Nine Wells is one of two watercress farms in Hertfordshire. Acquired as a wedding present, it has been run by the Sansom family for nearly two centuries. The name of the farm came from nine artesian wells that draw water naturally from underground chalk bore holes providing watercress beds with the continuous supply of crystal clear
spring water.

Watercress is in season twice a year. The farm has just finished the autumn/winter harvest and we were lucky enough to get a couple of bunches from that crop. The next one will be ready at the end of February when this lovely salad will become available from the farm shop and local farmers markets.