Learning the important stuff!

What’s been happening this week?
I think my word for this week has to be ‘soggy’. I have been soaked through too many times – and discovered that all the kit I thought was waterproof actually isn’t very. And we don’t have any way of heating our house at the moment to dry off. Ah well, the sun is out as I’m writing this so all good.

We were excited to hear from one of our customers that Eat Your Greens – and our little van! – had a mention this week during a discussion on food production and distribution following a presentation on proposals for a “green recovery” in Wales organised by the U3A’s Sustainable Living Group. This made our day – we’ve said it before, but we are big believers in the ripple effect, and to steal a line from one of those pesky supermarkets ‘every bit helps’.

Harvesting is not quite what it was a few weeks ago, autumn is definitely showing itself, but we’ve harvested leeks, tomatoes and what’s likely to be the last of the runner beans and courgettes. We’ve cleared some more courgette plants, laid compost down and planted out spinach, kale, pak choi and more chard. We’re trying a different way of growing our chard – spreading the plants out further to see if we get a higher yield.

What’s happening with the shop?
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 (likely to be Thursday and Friday mornings) – 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….!

Boxes this week
The spuds are Robinta. The squash this week is Uchi Kuri grown in Abergele and picked up by Rosie on her way to work with us. 

The apples this week are from Prion and Bodfari: St Cecilia (small boxes Monday and Wed), and Ellison’s Orange (small boxes Thursday). Regular boxes have Conference pears or Ellison’s Orange apples.  

EYG Extras
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 self raising wholemeal flour
  • Organic split red lentils
  • Organic red fox carlin peas 
  • Organic wholegrain spelt spaghetti 

Organic unwaxed lemons – there are some available next week if you’d like them.

A couple of recipe ideas… 

1) Red Curry Kuri Squash soup: Recipe here

2) Sauteed Spring Greens with bacon and mustard seeds: Recipe here. You could use shredded cabbage or cavole nero instead of spring greens.

Don’t forget, 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.