What’s been happening this week?
Things are starting to just slow down a little at the field, but we’re trying to get as much compost as we can onto the beds. We’re on the last of the beans and finally getting to the end of the tomatoes now. We’re already starting to think about Christmas veg (more to come on this in coming weeks) and planning to open the shop just on Friday mornings starting in November.
What’s happening with the shop? REPEATED FROM LAST WEEK IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
We just wanted to clarify a few things as we’ve had a couple of questions when Chris has been out delivering.
1. We are a veg box business, and this is where our focus is and will continue to be. Our desire is to help more veg box businesses open up to enable more people to get organic veg delivered with low food miles. Nearly every week since mid April we have helped a startup somewhere in the NorthWest set up a veg box business sharing our accounts, spreadsheets and learnings.
2. The shop is first and foremost a practical place for us to pack the boxes and it’s working well for that. Each week, we manage to move approximately 600kg of veg in less than 24 hours (!!! we’re pretty proud of that) – our aim being to get the veg to our customers as freshly as possible. Having enough space to be able to store and pack efficiently is really key to making the business work.
3. Given we’re packing in the shop, we have an opportunity to sell our excess fruit and veg (something we’ve been trying to do since taking on Eat Your Greens nearly 2 years ago now – eek where’s that time gone?!). This gives us a bit more flexibility when we’re ordering produce from our wholesaler and also hopefully means we can buy more regularly from local producers as we can take smaller quantities of produce for the shop compared to the boxes.
Our current plan is for the shop to only be open for a few hours a week (Friday mornings to start with) – much like a market stall. This means we can get away with not employing anyone else therefore keeping costs down.
We’ll rely very much on sending out weekly emails telling people what we have in and just the old-fashioned approach of a blackboard outside the front! If I can get Chris to yell out ‘ge-et your lemons here!’ in a Cockney accent I’ll be sure to video it….!
Great news – the land we used to grow on down by Llanrhaedr Springs will be cultivated over the coming months as one of our customers has taken it on and is going to be growing flowers and veg down there. She came up to see us in Prion for a paned last week to chat about all things no dig (one of Chris’s favourite topics) – she’s got a Facebook page (‘This Mum Cares’) if you are interested in following her journey. Great to know the land is still to be used for growing without chemicals.
If you have the BBC Sounds app, highly recommend you listen to James Regrave on the Food Programme from Sunday afternoon (11th Oct) – it’s only half an hour but well worth the time spent. He puts forward some really interesting (and inspiring) ideas around the future for farming in the UK, and we loved his non-combative style. Important and inspiring listening for anyone, whether or not you eat meat.
Boxes this week
The spuds are Robinta. The squash in the small boxes this week is still the Uchi Kuri grown in Abergele. Most of the regular boxes this week have a cauliflower – some are regular cauliflowers and some are Clementine cauliflowers which are a bit smaller but a beautiful orange-y colour.
The apples in the regular boxes this week are a mix of Ellison’s Orange from Bodfari and St Cecilia from Prion. Conference pears in the small boxes.
A very kind customer has donated her Bramley cooking apples (you know who you are & diolch yn fawr), so we’ve added these as a freebie to as many boxes as we could at random – if you don’t have any in your box, sorry, we just didn’t have enough to go round. Let us know if you are in need of cooking apples though and we’ll see what we can do.
We know the boxes are pretty big at the moment – please don’t feel overwhelmed! Remember this is all veg that has been grown without damaging the land, and has not travelled far to get to you. If you have to end up putting some in the compost then don’t worry. You may find that you don’t get through a wholle box one week but you’ll manage to finish up some bits together with the following week’s box. We often have bits of veg left over and rarely completely finish a box at this time of year with all the root veg and brassicas, but over the course of a few weeks we’ll get through it all!
We have very limited amounts of organic wholefoods which we are happy to sell to our box customers (just to clarify, we won’t be selling these in the shop – they are only available to you guys). If you want anything in the list below let me know and I can tell you price and how much is available. We’ll invoice you separately for these bits, so if you have something extra from us and no invoice please just give us a nudge! If you can avoid paying by Paypal for small amounts that’s really helpful as we get charged.
- Organic oats
- Organic white basmati rice
- Organic brown long grain rice
- Organic wholemeal flour
- Organic strong wholemeal flour
- Organic self raising wholemeal flour
- Organic split red lentils
- Organic red fox carlin peas
- Organic wholegrain spelt spaghetti (this is the best non white pasta we’ve tried – it’s v good)
Organic unwaxed lemons – we have some of these available most weeks now if you’d like any.
A couple of recipe ideas… (sorry these are all off the internet and not out of my favourite recipe books at the moment -we’re having some work done to the house so my books are tucked away somewhere safe! On that note, any recipe books you love and want to share with me please do – always on the lookout)
1) Roasted Cauliflower: Some lovely ideas here – we always seem to end up with cauliflower cheese as love it so much – need to be more adventurous.
2) Beetroot Chutney: Recipe here with a lovely little blog post. There’s also one with capers on the BBC website but it looks a little more complicated.
Don’t forget, as I mentioned last week, if you’ve got squash you don’t have to faff around peeling it (as I always used to think!) – the peel is yummy when roasted. As always, if you’re stuck as to what to do with anything, or really struggling to like something that’s in your box, please let me know and we’ll try to give you some ideas.