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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

Christmas (again) & borlotti beans

A little bit of gratitude this week for curtains! - we didn't have any for a year or so and now we are really noticing how much warmer it is now the cottage is full curtained up (not sure if that's a word but going with it anyway...). We don't have central heating and rely on our little Salamander log burner (aka Hobbit stove!) which is fab but even better now we are keeping the heat in and stopping the drafts, actually in Prion it's less draft, more gale!

Also if you didn't see us proudly sharing this pic on Instagram last week, these are our Prion-grown borlotti beans, grown in Prion and dried on the vine. We also grew red carlin peas but they don't look as pretty, and actually we have realised we just love beans so we're going to grow more of these next year. They're useful and tasty but also it's just so exciting to us that we can grow such a great source of protein so easily.

A recap of Christmas plans - we've learned from experience we need to share these a few times to make sure everyone sees them, we'll stick them on Facebook and Instagram too at some point:

Veg box deliveries - important, please read and make a note!

  • Week starting Mon Dec 19th (the week leading up to Christmas) we'll be delivering veg boxes as normal.

  • Some of you have ordered extra boxes in past years, please give us a couple of weeks notice if this is you so we can make sure they fit in the van.

  • We'll give you a final list of what's coming in each box once we've placed our wholesale order on Tues 13th Dec. We always aim to get main traditional Christmas veg into both small and regular boxes (brussels sprouts, parsnips, potatoes, onions, carrots, red/green cabbage) but if there are items you specifically want you may need to top up from our shop - see shop info below.

  • The week after Christmas, ie Tues 27th/Wed 28th December, there won't be any veg box deliveries.

  • Deliveries will restart on January 10th - to help us avoid over-ordering, please let us know by Friday 16th December if you don't want a box that week (if you've already told us, thank you).

  • Don't forget, if you can't get to the shop and want any store-cupboard items our online shop is here.

The shop

Our Christmas opening hours:


Thurs 22nd December 10-1pm (not till 2pm as we said last week by mistake)

Fri 23rd December 10-1pm

Wed 21st and/or Thurs 22nd - early evening, tbc

Thurs 29th / Friday 30th Dec 10-1pm tbc


Thurs 5th Jan 10-1pm

Fri 6th Jan 10-1pm

  • We'll aim to have all the traditional Christmas veg and fruit in the shop, and more, but if you don't get a veg box delivered, you are welcome to pre-order (before Tues 13th Dec please) a one off box for that week to collect from the shop.

  • If you want to choose what you get, you can email us ahead of time with a list of items you want during Christmas week and we'll put you together an ad hoc box, but we will charge a small fee for packing this (last year it was a huge task, takes us much longer to pack than a standard box). The earlier you order this, the more likely it is we can get you everything you want. There may be an option for us to deliver boxes from the shop to addresses within Denbigh.

  • Drop us an email if you have any questions or want to order anything:

In the field:

It's really quietening down now, the final tomatoes have been lifted, and the courgettes have finally given up.. the last fruit was 2 weeks ago, until next spring when hopefully we should get some early ones in the poly tunnel! That said we are still getting good harvests and this warm Autumn has meant that many of the crops that should be slowing down have had a good growth spurt - which hopefully will help with our salad pickings through January when the bad light limits the growth.

This week we harvested: 20 kg leeks, 1 kg swede, 30 pak choi and about 20 lettuces. Annoyingly a large amount of our Pak Choi has bolted - should have harvested it a few weeks ago.. never mind - live and learn, hence some of the boxes have had lettuces instead of Pak Choi. Particularly annoying as the pak choi we have harvested has been really good!

However, we have been busy in the unit, putting up more shelving for the veg which is all looking really fab. Shop customers will have seen (heard!) the building activity last week as Chris's 'boat corner' has been upgraded - we've built a frame to lift his lovely wooden Firely dinghy (built in the 50s!) up into the roof allowing for more space in the unit for storage (another boat, most likely!).

In the boxes:

Everything this week is from either Prion, Bryn Cocyn (Henllan) or Royal Oak (Ormskirk) - with the exception of the clementines in the small boxes which are from Spain. Local seasonal veg at it's best! - these boxes have super low food miles.

Most of the small boxes included our first sprouts of the season (whoop whoop) - these were limited so we won't have any in the shop this week and if you didn't get in your box, apologies, there'll be more coming!

Small boxes: swede, leek, sprout stalk, beetroot, clementines

Regular boxes: harlequin squash, apples, green cabbage, celeriac, broccoli, parsnips, salad/lettuce/pak choi

We had our first order from a box customer through the online shop this week and all seemed to work well [small fist pump]. The customer got what they wanted delivered with their box and the money came through. It's not perfect (and perhaps never will be -not sure perfection is a viable goal!) but it works and that's enough for us for now.

In the shop

Brassicas (limited, we sold a lot last week): Savoy cabbages, green/red cabbage, broccoli, kale

Root veg: potatoes, carrots, swede, parsnips, beetroot, sweet potato, onions, fennel bulbs, garlic, leeks, turmeric, ginger

Also: salad, tomatoes, lettuces, palermo peppers

Fruit: clementines, bananas, apples (Adam's Permain), cooking apples (Trywn Mochyn- an old rare Welsh apple, first recorded in the 1600s!), lemons.

Also all the organic store-cupboard items in the online shop, as well as eggs, Pentrefelin milk and Nant y Felin sourdough.

In the kitchen

Riverford have shared some good brassica recipes this week:

'Got greens? Cabbage, kale, spinach and spring/summer greens are all interchangeable in most recipes. Here are 5 flexible recipes to use up whatever greens you have in the fridge.' Recipe links: Cauliflower & greens coconut laksa Greens & coconut dal: Caldo verde soup: Potato & greens hash: Mushroom & barley bowl:

Finally, Chris is off to the Wales Real Food & Farming Conference in Lampeter next Thursday - looks like an interesting event and we thought we should go and join the conversation given the topic of real food is something that takes up so much of our attention and time. Often when we spot interesting events it's impossible for us to get there - either through distance or time of year - but this one ticks both boxes. Will get Chris to do a blog on it after to prove he didn't just stand around drinking tea :)

have a great week


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