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  • Writer's pictureChris Kameen

Moving Polytunnels and the milk is back

Exciting times at the Vale Grocer, Spring is in the air, the weeds are starting to grow and the harvesting has started again. Liz and Charlotte have used the half term break to get awy and see Grandad down south, leaving Saila and I to hang out with our feet up in front of the fire!!! haha.. At the weekend we moved our small polytunnel - something that we've not done since taking on the business. We decided to do this because we were finding that our yields from this tunnel were not as good as we thought they should be, despite trying most of the tricks we knew. Being able to move it opened up another option and now that we've done it we wish we'd done it earlier!

the Vale Grocer Poly tunnel being moved
Poly tunnel with ends removed being moved to the left

In the field:

We decided not to start the Tomatoes - we've still got plenty of frosts to come, but we did get the leeks sown in seed trays - they haven't sprouted yet!

Having moved the poly tunnel we have not got a load of kale and Broad beans that were under cover now outside. We've covered the caval Nero with mesh to stop the pigeons - and hopefully to try and acclimatiose them.. fingers crossed. The broadbeans have been staked and strings run so hopefully these won't just die .. that's be a bit annoying. In the now new polytunnel we have weeded the beds and collapsed the mouse warrens that ran through them and sown more broad beans... conscious that we may have just fed a load of mice broad beans!!

We have also planted out another 60 odd lettuce plants into the big poly tunnel which is now looking really quite full.

We've also had a big week of harvesting: 8kg Kale, 11kg of Leeks and 4kg of salad with more to come.

In the boxes:

We've managed to get some leafy greens into the regular boxes this week and hope to now be able to continue this on.

Small - potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, white cabbage, broad beans, courgette and clementines

Regular - potatoes, carrots, onions, salad, tomatoes, kale, squash, sweet potatoes, spring greens and oranges

In the shop:

This is the last week of the dirty carrots from Ormskirk - we'd noticed that we'd started to get more than the odd one a bit slimey and so it is that they are no longer listed.. For next week we've ordered from another farm. We've also had to get rid of quite a few squash that were starting to go a bit soft. If you've got some still on your windowsill - it is worth giving them a check over.. but it is now the start of the hungry gap, and a time to eek out as much as you can from the veg you have...

Potatoes - white Cara - Bryn Cochyn (Henllan) including 7.5kg and 12.5 kg sacks

Roscoff pink onions, onions from Bryn Cochyn

Carrots, swede, beetroot, some Jerusalem artichokes, some parsnips, some broad beans, sweet potato

Courgettes, Harlequin squash, leeks, celery, chestnut mushrooms, tomatoes,, some salad (Prion), , spring greens, red cabbage, white cabbge, baby savoy cabbages

Fruit: We sold a tremendous amount of fruit last week, so we are a little lighter than of late, Apples Ashmeads Kernel, lemons, clementines, oranges

Plus the last of the Seville oranges

As well as fab (prize-winning!) eggs from Mike in Prion - £2 for a box - and our ever increasing store cupboard range including organic beers, pasta, flour, oats, plus some new organic tomato ketchup. Also sourdough from Nant y Felin restaurant. Huw says his ladies have had their calves and the milk is starting to flow again, we've ordered in 12 bottles, so please come and buy - if we don't sell it we have to drink it ourselves!!

In the kitchen:

With Liz away I'm on cooking duty again. With the heavy amount of root veg in the boxes, I'm afraid I'm on soup making detail but have also reverted to my favourite cabbage biryani - can't go wrong. Ihave done this with either red or green cabbage.

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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