The Clwydians

Well, we just got the boxes out last week before the dump of snow, and managed to get to the shop on Friday too. We got lucky… and having a (mini) 4WD van helps! It was absolutely stunning up here Prion, we had some fun sledging and snowballing.

Social media. We’ve been quite conflicted about when and how to use this for the business. We know how well it can work, but we also know it can take over and suck the life out of you if you feel you have to keep posting! But we’ve decided to take the plunge and we’ll see how it goes. Here’s our Facebook page – we’re using thevalegrocer rather than Eat Your Greens as there are too many other people who use the name Eat Your Greens! We own The Vale Grocer name so we’ll be using that a lot more going forward.

Growing News: We’ve been harvesting all the leeks – some in the boxes this week but sadly many had already bolted (our plan to leave them in to help us through any Brexit issues didn’t really work..ah well). Also harvested pak choi (Monday boxes), hopefully more to come. We did some more work on the strawberries – giving them a bit of food and love as growing them inside. Cleaned the small polytunnel. Just ordered drip ground-level irrigation for the big polytunnel – exciting (only have overhead irrigation at the moment).

Eat Your Greens Boxes: Sprout tops or pak choi in the regular boxes. Also celeriac. Spring greens or savoy cabbage in the small boxes. Everything else I think you should recognise but let me know if you’re stuck with anything.
For all those budding marmalade makers, we’ve had lots of orders in for the Seville oranges but there are more available (£2.32/kg) so please send us an email letting us know how many kg you want.

The Vale Grocer Shop: Open tomorrow (Friday) 9.30am-1.30pm, cash only. 11, Mount Pleasant, LL16 3LS. Please wear a mask and we’ll serve you across the doorway (smiles and chats still possible, of course!). We’ve got lots of leeks, sprout tops, mushrooms and some spring greens, as well as spuds, carrots, onions and a mix of root veg. If you’d like any Seville oranges please let us know and we can let you know when to pick up.

A couple of recipes for you:
We really enjoyed this shepherd’s pie with beans the other day, used a mix of pre-soaked cannellini beans, red carlin peas, and kidney beans. We also made a leek and potato gratin which just uses potatoes, leeks and cheese and no cream or stock so not too rich. Was lovely with stir fried sprout tops on the side. We were lucky enough to get some beautiful bowls from Anvil Pottery (Llanrhaedr) for Christmas and our meals now seem to come with a bit of an extra special hug – everything tastes better out of them!

Spiced celeriac with lemon – recipe here. I sometimes find celeriac a tricky one, but this looks good.
Carrot flapjacks – recipe here. I haven’t tried these yet but am intrigued!
Last but not least, a recipe from Nigel Slater’s new book (Greenfeast) – beetroot, lentils, garam masala.

Finally, we’ve been watching Rick Stein’s Cornwallon iPlayer, and recommend it as v relaxed lockdown viewing. No mention of Covid! In episode 1 he’s in a Cornish orchard and talks about how hard it is to get hold of heritage varieties (supermarkets just stock the Braeburns, etc) and how important it is to eat apples that are native to where you live. Made us very proud to be working with Cae Main orchard in Bodfari to get you Welsh heritage apples. He also shares some lovely recipes, the quesadillas with apple and cheese are very good (I just used strong cheddar rather than the Gouda, but the Cornish Gouda looked amazing).