Edge planting and traybakes
Not too much to report this week other than it's still non-stop and the veg from the field is looking amazing. We've been ridiculously thankful for the rain especially as we've heard August could be another dry month. We're a bit short on courgettes this summer, we definitely need to grow more of these next year but we're at capacity now with the field so need to start thinking about where else we can grow some veggies.
I'm a bit hesitant to share this as there's a thing in behavioural science called social norms which sometimes nudges us to follow the same behaviour as other people - am hoping this newsletter doesn't lead to a flurry of cancellation emails this week! eek. But we also want to be honest about what's happening with the business, and the fact is we've had a fairly slow but consistent drop off in box customers over the past 6 months which has left us feeling a bit deflated. The feedback from those who have cancelled has all been overwhelmingly positive with regard to the quality and value of the boxes (which is great and we're not complaining about that!), so we're left wondering if there's anything else we can do.
Although I am a market researcher by trade, I'm reluctant to do a formal survey (yet!), but if you have any thoughts on things that might help, however small, please let us know by email. This might be anything at all about the boxes and how we operate. My hunch is that ultimately in a world of phenomenal choice we can still struggle with the idea of eating seasonally - if you supplement the box with produce from elsewhere then inevitably the veg you've actively chosen will be eaten before the veg that comes out of the box which means you then have veg from the box left at the end of the week and the veg box then feels like an optional extra. But this may be just part of the picture.
That said, we also know we aren't being very proactive with our marketing (ie not marketing at all!) and still meet people regularly who don't know about us. Another thing to add to the list!
If you have stopped your box, we'd urge you to support us in the shop if you possibly can. If you want something from the shop but can't get to us whilst we're open, let us know and we may be able to help (only if you're in Denbigh though). Also please continue to spread the word about us, even if the box didn't work for you it may work for someone else.
Also, to finish on a positive, lots of customers also say when they write to cancel that we've made them more confident with their cooking and eating which is a pretty amazing legacy - hoping that some of these customers might also come back in the future!
'I think what you do is fantastic, and our box has definitely made us more adventurous with food.'
'The boxes have been brilliant and I've been introduced to some new vegetables I didn't know existed.'
In the field:
Harvesting a lot at the moment, as we should be - we've got some of our amaing mixed salad leaves in the shop this week. Cleared beetroot bed and planted out about 150 x kohlrabi. Planted out 12 rhubarb plants in between two areas of garden that previously was over-grown with weeds! Weeding a lot - grateful for the rain!!
Edge planting - Planted out cavalo nero in poly tunnel along an edge that was previously chard. Transplanted perpetual kale from our garden at home which should help us massively in future hungry gap periods.
Here's Chris giving the tomatoes some TLC -
In the boxes:
Boxes are looking amazing. So much tasty goodness.
Small- potatoes, carrots, onions, red onions, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, pointed cabbage, green beans, mushrooms
Regular - new potatoes, carrots, onions, kale, cucumber, fennel, courgette, cauliflower, green/broad beans, chard, cherry tomatoes
In the shop:
Potatoes, carrots, brown / red onions, cauliflowers (limited), fennel, cucumbers, butternut squash, chestnut mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, palermo peppers
From Prion / local: garlic, beetroot, broad beans (lots - if you're not sure about them, try these, make a point of looking up some recipes, these are an amazing UK crop and we can't afford not to like them!), french beans, cavalo nero, tomatoes, spring cabbages, rhubarb, cucumbers, mixed salad leaves (some of you will be very excited about this!), fresh basil.
Fruit: Bananas, some blue berries (last opportunity until next year as a very short season).
Also: Eggs, Nant y Felin sourdough, Pentrefelin milk, Organic beer and other Organic pantry bits including oats, olive oil, olives, salt. Our ethos for what we stock is essentially that it's all stuff that we buy and use ourselves at home - so we don't offer choice (much less stressful that way!), but it is all good.
Broccoli - we had a whole box of broccoli that went to waste this week in the shop. Our whole mission and business model is built around reducing waste, so to have wasted organic broccoli (which cost a fortune!) was not ideal. So we're unlikely to have much broccoli again in the shop, only in the boxes.
I've shared this before but it's good - fennel and sausage traybake.
Finally, here's something quirky to end on (2 min video), hope our tomatoes aren't this feisty, haha.
have a good week