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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

A lot of harvesting and managing veg overwhelm

Another busy busy week so keeping this short-ish again. Lots of you away on holidays at the mo, hope you are having a fab time.

In the field:

[this section written by Chris this week - not blowing my own trumpet! Liz] - Well since getting back from holiday, I have been very impressed - only one or two cucumber plants lost to undermining by moles!! [grr] Liz did an amazing job keeping everything alive during that heat whilst managing all the other aspects of the business.. Well done! [think he had to say that so he's allowed to go away again in the future haha] So whe I got back I was straight back into it.. We cleared a bed of broad beans and our indoor courgette plants ready for planting our winter crops of spinach and Spring Greens, both of which are already in the seed trays! I've also planted out a bed of lettuce.

Harvesting is now taking over as the biggest task to stay on top of, already by Tuesday morning we had harvested: 30kg beetroot,13kg broad beans, 11.5kg french beans, 12kg cavalo nero, 16kg courgettes, 25kg cucumbers, 2.5kg marrow, 7.5 kg Arran Victory potatoes, 2 kg runner beans, 2.5kg salad, 4.5kg heirloom tomatoes, 8kg Vine tomatoes, 4kg cherry tomatoes. I think this comes to nearly 140kg of veg before we harvest for the shop on Thursday and Friday. Bonkers how much there is going on at this time of year - who was it that let me go sailing when there is so much to do!!?

In the boxes:

Don't know about anyone else, but am finding holiday season + hot weather + SO much veg has led to a slight overwhelm with a bit of guilt mixed in as know I should just be making the most of all the fab produce in our box. Also veg isn't keeping as long because of the warm temps - even in our cool house / in the fridge. It feels like I could spend all day processing veg and fruit to make stuff to go in freezer, but just don't have the time. If you're feeling similar, or wondering each week how to manage what's in your box, let us know, we can try to help.

I try to just focus on the positives rather than think about the wastage / what I could be doing! If something goes on the compost because we haven't managed to eat it, I don't think about how much it cost in time and money, but re-frame to remember that veg has come from somewhere local, been grown in soil that is improving every year from the veg being grown in it (we're rotating crops), has helped the bees and by composting it goes onto to help other crops in the future. In the grand scheme of things, those few bendy carrots have cost very little - over the course of the year we get so many benefits from eating seasonal veg and having produce delivered to our door so we can't avoid it / have to eat it.

If you focus on the bigger picture - of how good veg forms the basis of your eating and how supporting an organic local box scheme allows so many people to have access to veg grown without chemicals - and less on individual bits of veg, you may end up finding that throwing away it can feel a bit more manageable and less of a big deal. Don't forget, we don't give you the boxes to set you a challenge! Eat what you can/want and compost the rest and don't feel bad about it, next week is a new week.

Small boxes: tomatoes, beetroot, french beans, cucumber, cavalo nero

Regular boxes: tomatoes, sweetcorn, courgettes, broad beans, red cabbage, celery, plums

Next week, pretty much all the produce in the boxes will be from our field! Exciting / slightly nerve-wracking...!

In the shop:

Doing this from memory so may be a few things have forgotten, but essentially we have a lot of UK seasonal veg in at the mo as well as a few other bits! Hardly anything in at the moment that isn't from the UK. Tomatoes are proving super popular as they taste so much better than anything you buy in the supermarket.

Potatoes (Bryn Cochyn), carrots, onions, chestnut / white mushrooms, sweet potato and padron peppers (from Spain), padron peppers, fresh turmeric

From Prion: tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes - green and yellow, french beans - green and purple, broad beans, salad, lettuce, beetroot, cavalo nero, curly kale, garlic, basil (now's the time to make pesto and freeze it!), pointed cabbages, peas (some), marrow (just 1!)

Fruit: Plums, bananas, UK apples - Discovery - first of the season (from Hereford), and so tasty (we'll have local ones coming in later in year - not ready yet)

Eggs, Pentrefelin milk, Nant y Felin sourdough, local honey and other organic goodies.

Recipe inspiration:

We've got lots of fresh basil at the moment, try making home-made pesto (lots of recipes online, Jamie Oliver prefers using pestle and mortar, others use food processor) and freeze in ice cube trays so you have lots of fresh tasty goodness later in the year and don't have to use the jars. Here are a whole load of summer recipes from Riverford to help inspire - 'cook, eat and be merry'* (or if not merry, appreciate and enjoy the amazing taste)

*Greek philosopher Epicurus said to eat, drink and be merry but I think we can adapt... ;)

have a good week


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