Christmas ClosureRead More
Should you wish to place an order for January, you can do so by visiting our shop.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Autumn is here and a change in farm produce arrives!Read More
We're heading out of summer and into autumn now, and it means we're saying goodbye to lots of summer veggies, including our courgettes and beans.
We are looking at possibly reducing the amount of courgettes we grow as they always seem to do extremely well and we end up with a huge glut, meaning difficult decisions about what goes into the boxes. This summer has been no exception!
|Beautiful green summer courgettes
|The last of our flat beans
We have white and Romanesco caulies coming next week, along with broccoli. We barely saw any at all during the summer because of the weather, but we are hopeful that the autumn varieties fare better.
For both beans and courgettes, it looks like next week will be the last or just about the last we'll see of them. So what veggies, or fruits, are you most looking forward to?
Weather chaos causes further disruption to the farmRead More
Once again, the weather has caused huge problems for us, with significant damage being caused on the farm. Lots of trees have been uprooted taking the telephone pole with it and snapping it in half. We've lost power as well. The polythene covering two of the polytunnels have been completely destroyed, although, I haven't seen all of the tunnels. Thankfully, the frames appear to be ok and our propagation tunnel seem to have taken little or no damage. An engineer will be on site within the next hour to assess the damage, but as we will need a new pole it is going to take some time. Obviously as there is no power, delays to service should be expected as it will be more difficult for staff to sort, count and pack veg. I will work from home, which will also cause some delays but we will try to minimise disruption as much as possible and I'll keep everyone posted as best I can.
CHRISTMAS CLOSURERead More
We are currently closed and won't re-open until 10th January. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
FURTHER INTERRUPTIONS TO SERVICESRead More
We now have electricity and water on the farm and BT put a temporary line in place until we can get a replacement pole. Sadly, however, the phone line is running on the ground and the phone service is pretty awful. We've been without internet all afternoon and the phone line is pretty bad. There's a lot of interference on the line, make it very crackly and the line cuts out constantly. Therefore, we'd ask people not to phone the office. Please continue to email. They'll be checked at home periodically, and they'll be answered as soon as possible. We apologise for any incovenience.
SERVICE INTERRUPTION - Monday 29th November 2021
Due to the storms over the weekend, we lost all access to the farm with trees being felled with both entrances being blocked. Lucikly, Colin and Barbara were able to get someone to remove them from the roads and access was available yesterday. To our complete astonishment, the polytunnels all survived.
However, the telephone pole was also brought down and we're without phone or internet access. This may take some time to fix.
It was discovered this morning that there is no electricity on the farm, which makes working there impossible for me, so Matthew brought the computer from the office to my home so I'm working from my 'office'. I'm able to get a good amount done, but there are some limitations and there are logistical issues that arise from this. We have no idea when this will be fixed, but we're trying to get an estimate.
We hope to have our eggs delivered this afternoon or tomorrow morning and we're also waiting to hear if there have been difficulties getting our European produce and whether they'll be on time or if they'll be delayed.
If there's a delay this may impact deliveries, but we'll inform everyone by email. In the meantime, all we can do is keep our fingers crossed!
Veg under the Spotlight: Broad BeansRead More
This week we started harvesting our broad beans. It’s always exciting to see these coming through as it is a true sign that summer has arrived and that the winter roots are behind us…for now! These broad beans are growing in our polytunnel, which means a smaller crop than last year when we had a massive bounty due to them growing in the fields.
Broad beans are quite versatile and can be used in soups – lovely in a courgette, lemon and thyme soup. They can also be used steamed, in salads, stir-fries and curries and also in dips. They are the main ingredient in ful medammes, considered the national dish of Egypt. Dried, they are used in falafel too. A recipe for macco di fave can be found on our recipes page.
The flowers of broad beans are beautiful and are perfectly edible. They make an eye-catching addition to any salad or as a topper on a zesty lemon and broad beans pasta.
Cultural and historical significance
The broad bean has a long tradition going back at least 8000 years and is one of the oldest plants in cultivation. In ancient Greece they were used in voting – white ones for yes, black one for no. This is where the term bean counter originates.
The Pythagorians were forbidden from eating, mentioning or even looking at them. In fact, it was reported that Pythagoras once persuaded a bull not to eat them! Perhaps this was because Pythagoras believed that they came from the same source as humans and because they looked like a foetus, or because they caused flatulence! Either way, both are hilarious.
In European folklore it is claimed that planting broad beans on Good Friday or during the night brings good luck but since there are 365 nights in a year, the chances of good luck at least once must be pretty high.
Broad beans are very high in protein, coming in at 26g per 100g. They are also very high in folate, meeting your entire recommended daily intake. They are also high in minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron – between 50% to around 80% of the recommended amount. For best iron absorption, you should take them with vitamin C. Broad beans and lemon go very well together.
While in the tunnel I spotted this little fellow. I don’t know what type of butterfly it is, but my app tells me it’s an orange-tip butterfly. Clearly it has no orange tips, but it does resemble it in all other ways and is likely to be part of the whites, yellows and sulphurs family. It’s really great to see the various wildlife on the farm.
Veg under the Spotlight: FennelRead More
Fennel loves a warm, sunny, and moist environment so the tunnel is a perfect place for it to grow. It requires frequent watering, especially in the heat we’ve been experiencing recently.
I managed to get a taste of the fronds and they are delicious. They have a lovely cool-fresh liquorice/aniseed flavour but with a slight lemony taste on first bite. I certainly wouldn’t let them go to waste! They’d go perfectly with a zesty orange salad. I’ve included a recipe on our recipes page.
A bit about fennelFennel is a perennial plant and is part of the carrot family. It produces a bulb, flowers, and fruits, which are mistakenly referred to as seeds. Did you know it is one of the main ingredients in absinthe?
The bulb, fronds and ‘seeds’ are all used in cooking. The bulb is used in salads, stews, stir-fries and can also be sautéed or grilled. The fronds are a great addition to a salad, and the seeds are used in Indian cookery among other things. The seeds are also jam-packed with nutrients, as shown in the table below.
Cultural and historical significanceIn doing some research on this piece of veg, I learned that fennel means ‘marathon’ in Greek and that the place name, Marathon, literally means ‘plain of fennel’ as it grew all around the area. Marathon is famed for its battle in 490BC and more famously for the fact that the greatest runner in Athens ran 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of Greek victory over Persia, hence the name of the running event. Upon reaching Athens and delivering the news, Pheidippides collapsed and died.
The Romans, Chinese and Hindus used fennel as an antidote to poison from mushrooms and snake bites. It was also used to treat bites from ‘mad dogs’ – likely to be rabies.
In the poem ‘The Goble of Life’, Longfellow recounts the virtues of fennel and its purported strengthening of eyesight, much like its relative the carrot.
Above the lower plants it towers,
The Fennel with its yellow flowers;
And in an earlier age than ours
Was gifted with the wondrous powers
Lost vision to restore.
NutritionFennel is a good source of potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. When it comes to vitamins, fennel is highest in vitamin C and folate. It also contains essential minerals like manganese, chromium, copper, iron, and zinc. The seeds are very high in calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium, exceeding the daily value in these minerals.
News for week beginning 24th May (week 21)Read More
We are still very busy with weeding and planting. Growing is going well so far with fennel and cabbages, beans and celery all coming along well. It’s still too early to say how the outdoor crops will fare with the weather being so changeable, but we should know soon. We just have to keep our fingers and toes crossed!