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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

Week 24: What's happening

It's been another great week on the growing front, we've both managed to put in a lot of hours at the field, and with a bit of help with some harvesting and weeding (you know who you are, and thank you!) we're pretty happy with what we've achieved. Welcome / croeso to our new customers, once again we are pretty much at capacity with the boxes, so do still let us know if you're interested in trying a box but it looks like we will have to start running a waiting list again. We spent more time helping another fledgling veg box business, and also loaned out our walking tractor to another friend and grower who hopefully we'll be able to buy produce off later in the year.

A few things to mention this week so will try to keep it short 'n sweet:

  • Y Ty Gwyrdd (community hub with lovely zero waste/refill groceries and gardening products including plants) has opened on the Back Row in Denbigh....perfect timing for plastic-free July if you're up for the challenge!

  • Meinir of Tusw Tlws has started her flower subscriptions again, her flowers are stunning (you can also get them at Pentre Llanrhaedr PO)

  • Cae Derw at Rhewl also has flowers and other home-grown farm produce for sale at the roadside

  • After some requests for sourdough, Nant y Felin in Llanrhaedr are supplying us with some of their amazing sour-dough bread - just in the shop for now, but if you're interested in getting some with your box please let me know, as always we just need to work out logistics

  • We've got fresh herbs in the shop this week (basil, mint, coriander, parsley, rosemary) and again if you'd like any of these in your box we could add so let us know

  • Also in the shop this week we've got some quail's eggs from Waen Goch in Prion (also selling from their gate along with some plants)

  • Apologies, we've still not managed to organise fruit boxes but thanks to all of you who came back to us - we are onto it, just not sorted yet, too busy with the veg to be on the computer!

  • Talking of computers, we have been nudged onto Instagram so if you're on there we're thevalegrocer - any tips please send them through, and bear with us whilst we work it out, we are complete newbies!

Chris hasn't had time to write an update but he's done a video here which shows our current aphid issue - we're waiting for the ladybirds to come and work their magic, who knew they were so important!? Fingers crossed. As well as regular watering and weeding (beds and paths), we've been building more bean structures and planting out beans and peas. Harvesting broad beans, courgettes, lettuces and spring greens.

We've not got as much lettuce as we'd planned for as we've been having issues with our seeds germinating but we're on the case and hopefully soon to be fixed.

We're disappointed in our strawberries, after their initial enthusiasm they seem to have dropped off - we're going to try moving them outside, and have plans next year for new racking and more plants. Not sure we can ever have too many strawberries! And we definitely haven't had enough in our porridge this year.

Eat Your Greens boxes

We're finally feeling proud of the boxes again after weeks of disappointment. We are so grateful to you all for sticking with us through some of the weeks where we just had so little to choose from it was very hard to plan the boxes and then when veg arrived it wasn't in great nick. We really don't remember European produce during the hungry gap being this poor before, and we're just hoping it won't happen again (and will do everything we can to avoid it).

The Vale Grocer shop (Friday mornings, 9.30-1.30 @ 11 Mount Pleasant, Denbigh)

Our hope is that the shop is stocked with pretty much all our produce where possible. And we're starting to see that we need to order less as more of our stuff is growing.

This week we should potates, new carrots with tops, red onions, broad beans, courgettes, kale / cavolo nero, lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, plums, rhubarb, bananas, oranges, apples, hopefully some gooseberries.

+ free range chicken eggs, local quail eggs, apple juice

Recipe inspiration

Here's a few seasonal recipes from Riverford. Also you can't go wrong with a tomato, basil and mozarella salad when the tomatoes are as good as they are.

Finally, we've been getting a bit of help with harvesting from a friend and neighbour who has a very helpful 3 year old assistant so we have an 'Overheard in the Polytunnel':

'Who do you think has been munching these strawberries?'

'I think it was an elephant.'

have a good week


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