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  • Writer's pictureLiz Kameen

Week 38: What's happening

Hope you're all enjoying the beautiful weather, a couple of people this week have said September is their favourite month and I'm starting to think I might agree with them!

In the field, we're transitioning from summer to autumn/winter in the poly tunnels - removed courgettes and patty pan and planted out nearly 200 lettuces! Removed most of the leaves from the tomatoes and snipped the tops - looked like a bit of a tomato massacre leaving cascades of green tomatoes hanging from strings in the polytunnel but the idea is that the energy goes into ripening the fruits that are there already and not growing new ones.

We pulled up the tarpaulins from around the tomatoes and covered beds outside that have been harvested.

We removed our green bean structures - the runners are still going for now.

Planted out a lot more kale and 2 more beds of spring greens. Pumpkins and squash all looking good!

Harvested: 20.8kg tomatoes - cherry, yellow and beef tomatoes (see pic above, some are huge!), 8kg leeks, 19kg runner beans, 8.5kg patty pan squash, 5kg courgettes, 48 little gem lettuces - a little bit damaged on the outer leaves (wouldn't make it into supermarket but nowt wrong with them!), 1kg aubergines, 1kg sweet peppers.

Eat Your Greens veg boxes:

This week we were going to put salad leaves into the small boxes but the little gem lettuces were ready so we've put them in although some leaves may have a bit of damage, if you take the outer leaves off they should be pretty good. Scrumptious apples (that's the variety, great name) in the small.

In the regular boxes, if you have a slightly weird-shaped squash, it's a patty pan - good for roasting, you don't need to take skin off. The cauliflower is either purple or Romanesco (green). The apples are Tom Putt.

The Vale Grocer shop:

Plenty of: Roscoff onions, brown onions, beetroot, carrots, Romanesco cauliflowers (green), Charlotte potatoes (small), sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, beef tomatoes, chestnut mushrooms, green uk sweet peppers, runner beans, fresh ginger, garlic

Limited: Roscoff garlic, sweetcorn, leeks, patty pan squash, uchi kuri squash (bright orange), fresh chillies, aubergine, cucumber, lettuce

Fruit: Bananas, Ellison's Orange apples, lemons (lots! please help us get rid of them..lemon curd anyone?)

+ hens eggs (+ maybe quails eggs)

+ Bryn Cochyn apple juice

+ sourdough from Nant y Felin

We'll have some British organic cob nuts in next week for something different.

Recipe Inspiration:

Another one from Anna Jones, a warm butter bean salad with green olives and tomatoes. She says it's hearty enough for a cooler September day – the perfect salad to bridge summer to autumn. She serves them just-warm from the pan; but says they are arguably better the day after when the flavours have had time to marry, making for excellent leftovers and packed lunches.

Extra-virgin olive oil 1 white onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced 1 tbsp tomato puree 250g tomatoes, cut into small pieces 2 x 400g tins butter beans, drained (or 500g home-cooked beans) 2 tsp red-wine vinegar 10 green olives, pitted and roughly chopped 2 tbsp capers 1 small bunch dill, roughly chopped Feta (vegetarian) to finish (optional)

  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the onion and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft and sweet but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another three to four minutes

  • Add the tomato puree, stir until everything is coated, add the tomatoes and butterbeans, stir and leave to warm a little, then take off the heat and transfer to a bowl.

  • Add eight tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar, olives, capers, dill and a good couple of pinches of salt to the beans and mix well. Taste, adding more salt, oil, vinegar as needed, until balanced.

  • Serve as is or with feta crumbled over, alongside flatbreads or chunks of bread for dabbing up juices left in the bowl.

Don't forget Denbigh Plum Feast on October 2nd and also if you fancy picking your own pumpkin Cae Derw Flowers & Farm Produce (Llanrhaedr Springs) is taking bookings here. Way more satisfying that grabbing one from the suprmarket.

Finally, if you've wondered why some of our lemons have been so green in the past few weeks - wonder no more! Here's a great explanation (it's an instagram link, hopefully works even if you don't have instagram but apologies if not).

have a good week


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