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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

Autumn harvest and Patagonia doing good things

So many people have been commenting that it feels like autumn has suddenly arrived. I even wore a hat yesterday morning. We are happy we finally have curtains after about 3 years living without! Mixed emotions for us - grateful for the slower pace and fewer daily tasks but also already nostalgic for the loss of light and warmth.

In the beautiful Fern Verrow book they sum it up perfectly for us: 'On the farm the first sign of autumn spins us around and forces us to change direction...For the past 6 months we have spent every day immersed in the present. Autumn severs us from the immediacy of the plants, and the growth and warmth that carry us along with them. Now we must look aheead to the future; we feel the urgency of getting as much done before the cold and wet slow everything down... Fewer daylight hours for outdoor work mean there is now more time for the kitchen. We relish the last tastes of summer vegetables and fruit, but now it's the turn of the new textures, colours and flavours of the autumn harvest to stimulate our senses. For us this is the most exciting time of the year with the greatest variety of delicious food to cook and eat.'

We know lots of people who love autumn but if it's a tricky time of year for you we hope you can find your own, however small, way of re-framing the autumn change to something that feels more manageable and positive.

Don't forget the Denbigh Plum festival this Saturday 1st Oct - it's a really great local event that could do with everyone's support. We will be there with some produce but it won't be the full amount we have in the shop on Thurs and Fri. We're mainly there to show our faces and meet people so please come and say hello.

Eggs are in shorter suppply at this time of year as light levels fall so we're likely to have less in the shop as we prioritise box customers who pre-order eggs.

In the field:

Harvesting, pricking out, pruning tomatoes. Courgettes have finally finished.

Rosie avoided Tuesday's torrential rain by helping Chris with delivering boxes so if anything was in a different place to normal you'll know why.

In the boxes:

With so much churn recently on box customers (lots have left and a few new people have started) we've had to re-jig the rounds again. Chris has tried his best to avoid moving too many people but if he hasn't contacted you and the timing of your box changes slightly in coming weeks this is why. Although it would be brilliant to keep everyone in the same slot, as the rounds change we get to a point where we're driving past someone's house and not delivering because they aren't on that round and so every now and then we do need to make changes. We really appreciate your understanding, please let us know if you have any issues with delivery times and we'll do our best to accommodate.

Small boxes - beetroot, squash, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli

Regular boxes - runner beans, tomaotes, leeks, mushrooms, Savoy cabbage, sweet potato, chard, apples

The small boxes were quite substantial this week -this is a bit of a thing as we move in the autumn/winter, with more brassicas in the boxes, but also the way we plan the boxes means often a bigger box one week means a slightly less substantial box the following week - so don't worry too much if you're feeling like the boxes have suddenly got bigger! Remember everything keeps really well, and roasted veg / soup is always an option to use up excess.

In the shop:

We haven't got heaps in the shop this week - we sold a lot last week - so please let me know today if there's something you particularly want otherwise you may be disappointed.

Potatoes, carrots, purple carrots (with tops), Savoy cabbage, cauliflower (a few), broccoli, cavalo nero, onions (normal and Roscoff), portobello mushrooms, palermo peppers, tomatoes (mainly heirloom), lettuce, cucumber, squash, swede, leeks, beetroot, runnner beans, cucumbers (a few), chillies, garlic, ginger, turmeric

Fruit - bananas, lemons, apples, damsons (shame they're not Denbigh plums!)

Also: eggs (limited), Pentrefelin milk, Nant y Felin sourdough, and other organic bits.

Recipe inspiration:

Fern Verrow's ruby chard, tomato and lime curry is quick and easy. Recipe below for 2.

  • Roll up the chard (about 500g) and shred into thick strips (include stems if not tough)

  • Pour oil (ideally sesame) into heavy based pan and place over high heat

  • Add onions (2, cut into quarters) and tomatoes (200g, cut into quarters) and stir fry till they are getting burned edges but are still quite raw

  • Add the chard one handful at a time. Add a good sprinkling of sea salt, plus finely chopped ginger (a walnut sized piece), garlic (2 cloves finely sliced), garam masala (1 tbsp) and 1 red chilli (1 finely chopped). Important: cook curry over a high heat or it will become mushy and stewed. Keep chard on the move so it doesn't get dry or burned, but don't break the tomatoes up too much. Add more oil, if necessary.

  • Pour in 250 ml water , cover and leave to simmer over very gentle heat for about 20 mins, until chard is tender

  • Swirl in 2 large spoons of yoghurt, sprinkle over roughly chopped coriander na djuicve of a lime (I would substitute this with lemon!). Serve straightaway.

Finally, in what's been a pretty low news week, if you hadn't heard about what Patagonia did then have a read of this (very short) article - really inspiring and for us a reminder that we all have the power to influence: Yvon Chouinard says about the why behind the business 'If we could do the right thing while making enough to pay the bills, we could influence customers and other businesses, and maybe change the system along the way.' If you have ever spoken to us about why we're doing what we're doing, this pretty much sums it up (a lot more eloquently!).

have a great week


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