40 YEARS OF CULTIVATING

Why our watercress?

Why our watercress?

John Hurd and his family have been cultivating watercress for over forty years, when in 1992 he took the decision to go totally organic.  He was awarded his first ‘Organic Certificate’ in June 1994. 

In 1991, John Hurd installed the first National Rivers Authority approved settlement tank in the UK.  The tank allows silt and organic debris to settle before water is released, thus helping to maintain a natural balance in our rivers. Watercress beds are flooded and sluiced, ridding the product of pests, without the need to toxic pesticides. 

Eight acres of watercress are under cultivation producing watercress all year round (subject to weather conditions). Hygiene and water purity in the cultivation of watercress is paramount.   John Hurd was the first NFU approved ‘Organic Watercress’ grower in the UK and also has approval from Organic Farmers and Growers and UKROFS. 

THREE GENERATIONS

Started by John Hurd (middle), followed by his son Simon Hurd (left) and then Cameron Hurd (right).

EIGHT ACRES

Our watercress farm cultivates over eight acres of watercress all-year-round. 

Fresh to your door

WANT FIVE PACKS FRESHLY PREPARED AND DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR?

Order our watercress multi-pack box and we will deliver five fresh packs to your door for £16.00 which includes P&P. You can pay with your PayPal balance or securely with a debit or credit card.

WATERCRESS RECIPES

MAKE YOUR WATERCRESS GO FURTHER

Here’s a few rather wonderful recipes that you can try with your fresh new pack of John Hurd’s Organic Watercress. Recipes by Fresh Kitchen Cookery School.

WATERCRESS & APPLE SHOTS

Kick-start your morning
Ingredients

40g of finely chopped John Hurd’s Watercress

One green apple

One stick of celery

The juice of one lime 

Method & information

Method…

1. Gather all of your ingredients into a blender

2. Whizz them together to form a smooth morning shot. Loosen with a little water if needed

More information…

A great way to start the morning.

WATERCRESS COURGETTE & ORANGE CAKES

Wonderfully easy and perfect with a cuppa
Ingredients

210g of courgette (grated)

40g of finely chopped John Hurd’s Watercress

150g of caster sugar

Half a TSPN of baking powder

125ml of vegetable oil

Two large organic eggs 

2 drops of orange essential oil

Half a TSPN of bicarbonate of soda

For the icing…

250g of icing sugar

250g of butter

1 drop of orange essential oil

Method & information

Method…

1. Remove excess water from the grated courgette by draining over the sink in a sieve

2. Combine the eggs, oil and sugar in a large bowl, beat them until light and fluffy

3. Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, mix until well combined.

4. Add in the orange essential oil 

5. Stir in courgette and watercress and mix well.

6. Pour into muffin cases, tins or into 2 large sponge tins, which are pre-greased.

7. Bake for approx 20-35 minutes depending on size of cake. Until light and springy to touch in the middle.

8. When totally cool, mix well the butter and icing sugar until smooth and soft, add in the orange essential oil and pipe onto the cakes. 

9. Refrigerate to allow the butter the harden slightly.

More information…

A rustic artisan loaf that can be used any time of day. It goes amazingly well as a brunch with poached organic eggs and smashed avocado. Your family will thank you for this one!

WATERCRESS SOURDOUGH

A rustic loaf to use any time of the day
Ingredients

50g of ripe sourdough starter

40g of finely chopped John Hurd’s Watercress

350ml of warm water

50g of grated parmesan

3 TSPN of good quality salt

Method & information

1. Mix the starter and warm water together in a large bowl.

2. Add in the flour, salt and watercress and mix to a dough. 

3. Knead slightly and place in a floured bread proving basket, cover with reusable silicon lid.

4. Leave in a warmish place overnight.

5. The following morning, place the dough on a floured surface, shape into an oblong, by folding the edges in. Rest for 10 mins.

6. With slightly oiled hands, pull the dough, folding 12 times into the centre place seam side down on to a baking tray. Second prove 45-60 mins on the side.

7. Slash the top, and sprinkle with the Parmesan 

8.  Put into a hot oven 200 C for 45-60 mins.

More information…

A rustic artisan loaf that can be used any time of day. It goes amazingly well as a brunch with poached organic eggs and smashed avocado. Your family will thank you for this one!

PACKAGING

WE CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT

From the way we cultivate, to the packaging and farm wildlife. We really care about the environment.

About our new packaging
From 2019...

In 2019, we reached a point where we caould not continue to produce bunched

watercress as we did. We have written the statement below to explain

the changes that we have made.

As a small family farm we have been supplying UK retailers with our

organic watercress for many years in a bunch pack, hand cut and hand

bunched.

Unfortunately, however, we are now finding it increasingly difficult

to get employees to harvest the watercress by hand. It is a back

breaking process which involves being bent over for up to 5 hours a

day and is a skill that takes up to three years to obtain.

Staff welfare is of paramount importance to us and this method of

cutting could no longer continue.

We have additionally been challenged through changes in food safety

legislation to look at how we can get our organic cress to market as

safely as possible, ensuring as long a shelf life as we can and

reducing waste of both packaging and watercress.

We have therefore invested heavily in a new packing machine and

machinery with which we can harvest the organic watercress

mechanically and have become SALSA accredited that confirms the safety

and hygiene of our new harvesting and packing processes.

To produce bunched watercress, the cress is handled 4 times before it

is packed and the vertical packing process wastes significant amounts

of film which is not recyclable currently.

Mechanically harvesting the cress is a much more efficient process.

There is no waste, and the cress bed is left in good condition which

encourages stronger and more even regrowth.

Using this alternative method of harvesting and packaging, the film we

use has been drastically reduced, we are no longer using rubber bands

and the cress is only handled once, therefore is not bruised which

helps to lengthen shelf life.

Sustainability is important to us and we have moved to using a tray

that is made from 100% waste plastic, that itself is totally

recyclable, hence reusing waste that has already been created. We have

additionally  reduced the thickness of the film we use by 30%, another

important environmental saving.

We are very proud of the changes we have made thus far and continue to

research and develop our processes.

We hope you enjoy our watercress for many years to come.

Wishing you all the very best from John, Anne and Simon Hurd and all at John Hurd’s Organic Watercress.

Which retailers?

As well as buying direct from us, we also supply Waitrose.

NUTRITIONal information

WHY IS WATERCRESS SO GOOD FOR YOU?

Natural goodness that’s packed with vitamin C and calcium.

RDA information…

Watercress Contains

Per 100g

RDA%

Vitamin A

300 mcg

44%

Vitamin C

(oranges 50mg/100g)

60mg

100%

Vitamin E

10mg

10%

Thiamin

0.1mg

8%

Riboflavin

0.1mg

6%

Nicotinic Acid

0.6mg

3%

Iron

1.6mg

11%

Calcium

(cow’s milk: 120mg/100g)

220mg

27.5%

Contact Us

Ping us a message instantly here or scroll a little further down to see other ways to get in touch.

Visit Us (BY APPOINTMENT)

John Hurd’s Organic Watercress 

Stonewold 

Hill Deverill 

Warminster 

Wiltshire 

BA12 7EF 

Contact us

simon@organicwatercress.co.uk 

01985840260 

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