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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

Millet and planting spuds

Brr, it's a chilly one. Move over Winter, and let's be having you Spring- we're ready (eek)! We're busy in the shop, starting to get busy in the field, and excitingly there are new veg box enquiries every week, although we still have a way to go to reach our box target (which is still lower than the number of box customers we had during Covid times). We're doing all we can at the moment to make our produce available to as many people as possible - know it would be great to also have a presence at the Denbigh market in the Town Hall, and there was a bit of chat about this on Facebook this week, but it is really hard to justify that time out of our week when we may not actually sell much - getting produce in the van to go to a different location and setting up a stall is really time-consuming, and currenty the busiens can't afford to pay someone else to do it. But helping to revive the market is something we'd love to do so we'll see what happens in the future.

After our success growing borlotti beans last year, we've started to think about other, less common, crops that can be grown in the UK. We came across this article and started looking into millet. It was quite hard to find some that isn't bird food (!) but we now have a bag of hulled millet (it was grown in Ukraine) and have started to experiment with it- we figure there's no point growing something that doesn't taste good. Here's a risotto recipe with millet and here's some info from the naturally ella website about millet. We made the risotto last night and it was fab, we really enjoyed it. Will keep you posted, in the meantime if anyone has any experience using or eating millet we'd love to hear!

In the field:

With a forecast of rain and then plummeting temperatures, our efforts in the field early this week were somewhat restricted to a big harvest and working mainly in the polytunnels.

On Sunday we covered a large number of beds with heavy tarpaulins. The weeds have all started to germinate and so we're hoping 4 or 5 weeks under a heavy tarp should scare them off! This will also keep the ground a bit warmer ready for the seedlings we've yet to sow.

We have moved all the rhubarb that we'd planted in to a bed which is now in the movable poly tunnel. We have moved it to a really inaccessible corner of the garden which had been covered in a tarp for over a year, so hopeful that it will take well and give us a yield from an otherwise unproductive space.

We've also planted out the first early potatoes in the small poly tunnel and done a lot of weeding of the paths inside the big poly tunnel. All the kale plants are starting to flower and so it's harvest time big style. We harvested 3.5kg of cavalo nero, 3kg curly kale, 3kg kale flowers, 7kg leeks, 12kg parsnips, and 4kg of salad.

In the boxes:

Small - potatoes, onions, carrots, beetroot, red cabbage, swede, leeks, clementines

Regular - potatoes, onions, carrots, squash, red cabbage, celeriac, sweet potato, apples, salad, cavalo nero

In the shop:

Yet again, we had another really busy week last week, thank you so much to every single one of you who is supporting us. We're starting to see some consistency in number of customers and sales which really helps us with our ordering and planning. Remember we order everything in (apart from what we can harvest on the day) a week ahead of time and we're always trying to reduce wastage so it's a balance between offering choice and being left with excess produce we can't shift. This is why by the end of Friday morning we do start to run low.

Potatoes, carrots, swede, celariac, golden beetroot, TVG leeks, TVG parsnips, onions, broad beans, squash, white cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale flowers, chestnut mushrooms, white mushrooms, aubergine, courgette, green palermo peppers, TVG salad, cherry tomatoes, vine tomatoes, celery, ginger, fresh turmeric, Roscoff onions

Fruit: Apples (Fiesta), clementines, lemons, oranges, ruby grapefruit, kiwis

We've got fresh garlic coming in next week, please help us sell us this quickly as it will be desperate to sprout! :) We are missing garlic at the moment - and in the supermarket the organic garlic comes all the way from China....why?! So, we're getting some in and risking the sprouting, we're wondering why non-organic garlic doesn't sprout at this time of year?

+ local free-range eggs

+ Pentrefelin milk

+ store cupboard items - we've now added local Mug Run coffee (beans and ground) to the Grumpy Mule

+ fresh sourdough from Nant y Felin restaurant

In the kitchen:

If anyone has stuggled to use up their aubergine from last week, pasta alla norma is a very tasty (and slightly decadent!) use for it. And if you're looking for red cabbage inspiration here you go.

In other news....A friend of mine from uni wrote this article in the FT which we enjoyed - “We have a world where behaviours that pollute are seen as progress and those that don’t are viewed as weird and niche,” - that just about sums up how we feel much of the time!

Also loved this article looking at the link between what we eat and our mental health - really fascinating and has so many implications. Going to read the book so willl let you know thoughts.

Finally, learn more about your gut health eating blue muffins! - more info here.

Our online shop is here if you need any extra for your box or want to pre-order to pick up in the shop.

have a lovely week

#enjoy that tasty veg

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