Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Newsletter w/c 4th January 2016

After a long break, one of the New Years resolutions for this year is to get the blog up and running again on a weekly basis. Happy New Year to you all, we're looking forward to a good year in the field. The weather is causing all sorts of problems at the moment, but the mild conditions may mean that we have a longer growing season if it continues the way it is. Of course, the usual cold weather may come yet, and with the ground being so wet it will need a good dry spell before we can get to work on it without causing damage to the soil structure.
We've had a busy Festive break, visiting friends and family and spending a bit of time in Peebles. it has been badly affected by flooding, but there's a great community spirit in the town. Over the weekend we joined teams of volunteers to help clear up public areas and help people clear homes and gardens of debris and damaged furniture and carpets. The rugby club's main pitch needed a lot of work done to fencing and advertising boards, although the actual pitch doesn't seem to have been affected too badly.
Our holiday has been extended by one day as our main supplier for fruit and more exotic veg took an extra days holiday. This means that all deliveries this week will be one day later than anticipated. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
This week's standard bag contains potatoes, onion, carrot, cauliflower, leek, white cabbage and garlic.
The large bag also contains Butternut Squash, celeriac and pepper. Substitution may occur. Please note that we can omit any veg that you'd rather not receive - we'll substitute something else. The same applies to amounts of potatoes in the bag from week to week.

Potato Solanum tuberosum.. The variety for the most part is Valor. Some of you may get washed potatoes. These have been washed to check for blemishes and disease. Soil acts as a natural preservative, so the washed tatties may not keep quite as long as the dirty ones. They are very easy to prepare when they’re as fresh as this and really only need a wash and a scrub. Potatoes are the only commonly available source of B3 and Iodine. Excellent source of Vitamin C and also Vitamin B6, Potassium and fibre.
Onion  Allium cepa.  Used in stews, pasta dishes, soups.  Source of Vitamins A and C, Iron, Calcium and Potassium .
Carrot Daucus carota Carrots are eaten fresh in salads or cooked in just about any way you like. They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and also contain significant amounts of Vitamins B, C, D, E and K. and Potassium.
Leek Allium porrum  Excellent source of Vitamin C. Particularly used to give soups a lovely creamy texture. As leeks grow they tend to lock soil into their leaf axils, so be sure to rinse them well after slicing them up. A nice idea for cooking leeks is to sweat finely sliced leeks in butter for 5 minutes, pour in a glass of red wine and simmer until reduced. Season and serve.
Cauliflower Brassica oleracea Italica Group (1 head) Excellent source of Vitamin C, folic acid and phytochemicals and good for Vitamn.B6. Also contains Vitamins A, B2, B6 and phosphorus, fibre, calcium and iron. It is best eaten raw or quickly blanched in boiling , lightly salted water. Cauliflower is also good in stir-fries as it has a lovely crunch to it if you don’t cook it for too long. It’s often served boiled or steamed with a cheese sauce and makes an excellent hearty soup.
Garlic  (1head). Use a clove of garlic to flavour savoury dishes. Split a clove off of the bulb, peel off the skin and crush or chop finely. Mix with butter and spread on bread or  toast to make a tasty snack.
White Cabbage Brassica oleracea Capitata Group. To cook, remove any damaged outer leaves, cut into quarters and remove the central core. It can be cooked in quarters like this in boiling salted water or else shredded and boiled or steamed. Here’s a recipe for Cabbage soup which will use up a few items in the bag this week: Prepare and wash the cabbage and shred it finely. Prepare and roughly chop, 2 carrots, the leek and 1/2lb(250g) potatoes. Put all the vegetables in a pan with 3 pints(1.5l) stock and a bouquet garni, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Season to taste, sprinkle with parsley and serve at once.



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