Week 11: What's happening
Updated: Mar 24, 2021
Lambs everywhere at the moment, so lovely to see. Yesterday morning I was out with the dog and we saw a farmer and his dog grab a sheep and then pull out 2 lambs and move on as though it was the most natural thing in the world (which I guess it is to him!). At this time of year particularly I still have the wide-eyed fascination with lambing that only someone who grew up in a town could have! The Rebanks book I mentioned last week really helped me to understand the work put in by the farmers during lambing. So hats off to all of you in the throes of it now, especially as the weather has been so chilly and wet.
Our wholesalers, Organic North, shared this video last week which is well worth a watch (about 25 mins so make yourself a panad). Adam York is a market gardener in Ceredigion and shares some really interesting ideas. He talks about managing the balance between expectations from customers vs what is the best to eat from a carbon point of view (i.e. eating seasonally). It's quite reassuring to hear that he's only fairly recently become a grower - much like us! And he acknowledges that being a market gardener is actually more technical than many people might think it is - which is definitely our experience. He speaks really well and doesn't put forward anything particularly controversial, but gives a great insight into some of the opportunities and challenges faced by local growers.
What have we been up to this week?
A week of sowing, watering and transplanting. Still too cold to put anything in the ground outside, maybe later this week, and next week. We've sown leeks, snow peas, beetroot, more chillis, more tomatoes, more courgettes.
Transplanted more brassicas so we now have a total of 720 kale, kohl rabi, Purple sprouting and Brussel Sprout plants all in root trainers. Also transplanted onions into 'plugs', about 400 lettuces, each one carefully transplanted from the seed trays. Chris talks about green manure on our Facebook page.
Things to watch out for in the boxes: Not much to report this week. Red Cara spuds. Fennel in the small boxes, think everything else should be easy to identify but let me know if not!
EGGS - we can add eggs to your box and currently have a surplus of eggs from the two local free-range suppliers we buy our eggs from. So even if you fancy just having eggs for a bit just let us know as we could do with shifting some! The hens definitely know that it's Spring, even if it feels a bit chilly to us! £2/ half dozen.
JUICE - we can also add the Cae Main apple juice to your box too. £3.45 / bottle.
FLOUR - our wholesalers have a new stone-ground flour supplier, Gilchester Organics in Northumberland. A lovely video here telling you a bit about them. We're going to try some of their flours - probably spelt and wholemeal to start with - so if you're interested let us know and we can give you details on price, etc. We aren't flour experts (!) but apparently stone-grounding flour is a better way to process grains as the vitamins and minerals within the grains are kept intact. These guys also leave the wheat germ in their flours which means they contain some essential oils too.
What we've got in the shop:
Plenty of: potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms (chestnut and white), Savoy cabbages, broccoli, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, fresh ginger
Limited: fennel, garlic, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, avocadoes, cauliflowers, snow pea shoots
Fruit: Navelina oranges, UK apples (these are really good, lovely and crisp), bananas, lemons
Free-range eggs (lots of them!). Cae Main juice back in stock for now, some lovely new varieties.
A couple of recipe ideas:
Focussing on Savoy cabbage today, as everyone should have one of these in your box this week, and it can be easy to just dismiss cabbage or keep cooking it the same way. I'm not sure I've just steamed cabbage for quite a while now, although that can still be tasty with lots of salt and butter.
This recipe for butter-braised cabbage is super simple as a side dish. You can also do something similar with bacon. Or do a variation on the same theme and add it to pasta!
Or you could do stir-fried savoy cabbage. Or savoy cabbage thoran (have done something similar to this with brussels sprouts and it's lovely). Finally, a savoy gratin... How do you like yours?
have a good week