Week 26: What's happening
We've had quite the week at home with various things happening all at once (scaffolding going all around the house, septic tank being worked on which involved most of garden being dug up...Chris had to shift about 1.5 tonne of rock whilst I was VERY busy elsewhere, haha), on top of all the normal veg duties.
Normal veg duties this week have included: watering (lots of), weeding (ongoing - they really are loving this weather), more pea supports, removing the side shoots from the tomato plants to improve the air flow/stop disease - we leave one side shoot on and remove the rest, not done this before but giving it a go. Chris has got (a slightly dishevelled!) video update below.
Our wholesalers are still finding it tough. Because of Brexit, we now have organic farms in the UK with lots of veg ready and waiting to be harvested, but no-one available to pick it. And due to Brexit and Covid the haulage problems roll on - we really are in a bit of strife as this (fairly depressing) short article explains. At least our field is looking good though and we've also hopefully got a bit of produce coming from Bryn Cochyn too which is fab.
Eat Your Greens veg boxes:
Yummy UK produce! Prion kale and broad beans in small boxes, if you need more broad bean inspo check out link below. Also broccoli. Cherry tomatoes in small and regular.
Regular also have cauliflower, peppers, beetroot, courgette and melon (thought we'd try these for a change!)
Remember as we come up to summer holiday season (albeit a slightly strange one this year), we do need at least 10 days notice for any box changes. Also, as we've mentoned before, the summer really is when we reap the benefits of all the hard work for the rest of the year. We are going to write a longer post on this, but please remember we aren't an online shop ;)
Because we try our hardest to grow as much produce as we can, this means we plan and grow for the number of boxes we have in winter - if you cancel over the summer we lose more than just the price of your box, we lose all the work we've put in during the preceding months. The more support we can get over the summer the better for us as we buy in less veg at this time of year so can make the money we need to keep the business going for the rest of the year.
This doesn't mean we don't want you to go on holiday...but if there's any way you can avoid cancelling your box, we really do appreciate it and it's what helps to keep us going. It's a fine balance we have to tread between being too draconian and too flexible!
The Vale Grocer shop:
Plenty of: beetroot, broccoli, broad beans, green beans , carrots with tops, cavalo nero, courgettes, garlic, new potatoes, Palermo red peppers (these are so popular), red & yellow onions
Limited: mushrooms, cauliflowers, UK cherry tomatoes, UK vine tomatoes, lettuces, radishes
Fruit: apples, bananas, melons
+ hopefully some Bryn Cochyn apple juice
+ local quails eggs & hen eggs
+ sourdough from Nant Y Felin (we are buying this in to order as much as possible so if you know you want some ideally let us know by Wednesday and we'll order in for you)
If you didn't read it last week, here's our blog post on the importance of creating habits in order to reduce reliance on supermarkets. We've had some great feedback on it.
I don't know about you but I'm feeling a little like a rabbit in headlights with food / cooking at the moment - on the one hand so excited there is so much lovely fresh veg but on the other almost overwhelmed by it and can't quite work out what to make. Did come across this fab recipe the other day (which funnily enough starts off with exactly what I've just said - probably why I decided to try it!). It was great with parmesan on top.
Also Riverford have a few more ideas for broad beans here.
Finally, our house is pretty cool even in the middle of summer and we can get away with keeping a lot our veg out of the fridge, but we still find that our lettuce keeps best in the fridge, and the best way we've found by far is in the salad spinner. If you don't have a salad spinner gizmo, just put it in tub with a lid on it and a bit of water in the bottom. Also, carrots and beetroots (and anything else) with the leaves on top - cut them off when you get them and keep the leaves separately, the veg will keep longer if you do.
PS Don't forget plastic -free July - we'd love you to join us and millions of others reducing plastic waste.
have a good week