Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Newsletter w/c 1st February 2016

We seem to have come through Storm Henry without too many problems, so hopefully we can now look forward to a period of slightly better weather. Deliveries will be as normal this week.
The field is pretty wet after all the rain and snow but there never seems to be any standing water. it all manages to drain off one way or another, which is excellent for growing. It results in the soil being a bit 'hungrier' as the feeding in the soil tends to get gradually leached away with the the draining water. If we get some frosty weather over the next few weeks we'll get some dung onto the growing area in preparation for the coming season.

We'll be getting the cover on the poly-tunnel shortly as well. A check to see how many more winter gales are due will be a determining factor in deciding exactly when that will happen.

On Saturday we head over to Kilmarnock to spend a day of sport viewing with my Brother and his family. It's the start of the 6 Nations rugby tournament with Scotland playing England at Murrayfield, which is a huge game. However, that is preceded by a Scottish Cup clash between Premiership strugglers, Kilmarnock (who haven't been doing well lately and have just sacked their manager), against Rangers, the re-formed team that are leading the division below the Premiership. Will it be victorious Killie and Scotland (personal heaven) or victorious Rangers and England (personal hell)? Anything can happen - it's just the beauty of sport.

The Standard veg bags this week contain: potato, carrot, onion, white cabbage, celeriac, pepper and leek
The large bag also contains mushroom, tomato and garlic

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

Celeriac  (1head). To prepare celeriac, treat it much as you would a swede. Peel it thickly and slice. As you slice the flesh drop it into a pan of cold water with a couple of drops of lemon juice to avoid discolouration. Here’s a recipe fpr Celeriac with mushroom stuffing: Prepare as above but slice crossways into discs 1 inch thick. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and keep the celeriac warm under a dry cloth. Meanwhile, take 250g (1/2lb) mushrooms, keep whole if small and slice thickly if large. Fry the mushrooms in 50g (2oz) butter for 5 minutes until golden. Arrange the celeriac slices on individual plates, top with the fried mushrooms and sprinkle with paprika. Serve as an appetiser.

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.

Pepper Capsicum sp. (1 head) Good source of vitamin C. Wash the pepper, then slice off the top. Scoop out the seeds and membranes. Can be eaten cooked or fresh in various dishes including pasta sauces, pizza, salads. Peppers can also be stuffed with various fillings.


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