Parched Az

If you haven’t seen this slightly random cartoon (language warning, not neccessarily as young kid-friendly as it looks) that’s where the heading reference comes from. Weird how your brain works, I’d forgotten all about it since seeing it a few years ago and it suddenly popped into my head with this line.

In the field:

So it really is parched everywhere. In the field the heavy soil means the dry surface layer is forming big clods of earth that we need to break up before sowing/planting. But once the soil is wet it does retain the moisture well.

Rosie and I kept things going for Chris’s return and think we passed the test. It hasn’t stopped him throwing himself back into the field full pelt.

This week we have prepped beds (involves shifting massive tarps – found a lovely toad hiding under one, better than the rabbits! – and removing any weeds that have survived being covered over) and planted out kale, purple sprouting broccoli, cavalo nero, broad beans, peas, lettuces, radish, tomatoes, beetroot. Quite a list!
Lots of watering
Also sown more courgettes

Margins are particularly tight at the moment, which makes everything feel just that bit harder. We compared what we’re harvesting now to the same time last year and it’s way less even though our growing generally is improving – the hungry gap just seems to have been longer and tougher than ever this year (as we were warned it would be by Organic North a while back). We’re hoping to harvest more from field next week for the boxes.

In the kitchen:

If you are struggling with another spring green (!) here’s some more inspiration from Riverford. I just think they work well with so many things as a side dish – sauteed in trusty olive oil, lemon juice and salt (optional chilli flakes) we put them with pretty much anything.

Helda beans (the flat ones) – here’s a recipe with citrus butter and here’s one for the summery BBQ weather – griddled Helda beans with goat’s cheese.

I’m also going to do this sweet potato and chickpea curry from Jamie Oliver.

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