Vital Veg, organic farm

Newsletter 30th August 2021

On the farm
The days are taking on distinctly autumn characteristics. Officially we have another few weeks of summer before Autumn begins on 22nd September, but the nights are drawing in, the leaves are turning on some of the trees, and the mornings are sprinkled with beautiful dew.

For our vegetables the shorter days mean shorter time available to grow. We are pleased that our crops put on a goodly amount of leaf development in the early summer, and they are looking fine, with rooty crops filling well as a result. The carrots in your boxes are now all our own, and we have the first of our parsnips available too.

One of the results of the good growing conditions is our bumper-sized beetroots. These are lovely and sweet and juicy. If you have not tried raw beetroot these are the ideal ones on which to try – just cut yourself a thin slice and chomp away! A classic way to enjoy raw beetroot is in a beetroot and orange salad. Some people like to cook the beetroot first, but you then miss out on the lovely juicy crunch – almost like a firm watermelon! If you do prefer your beetroots cooked remember that they are wonderful roasted – cut them into slender chips and they don’t take long to cook at all!

Indoors we will soon see a shift in our tunnel crops, with the cucumbers slowing in the cooler temperatures. They will be replaced with our celery – the first of which is ready now, and which will last until the frosts (depending on how quick you eat it!). We have sown the last of our summer lettuce, and will move on to winter lettuce, and other salads that do well in the lower temperatures. We started sowing some of these two weeks ago, and it won’t be long before we are planting them. How quickly the yearly cycle turns around!

Elsewhere on the farm, our crop of winter bird food is ripening well. This is a mix of cereals, flax, field radish and a goodly amount of weeds grown for their seeds. We sow flowers for the bees and other pollinators through this mix, and this helps provide more food for our wonderful wildlife. Our late-sown pollinator strip of phacelia, borage and mixed clovers is looking great in our veg field, and is buzzing with life at the moment.

It really helps us keep our own prices level if you can return our boxes regularly and in good condition – please wipe them clean and leave them out for us to collect when your next delivery is due. THANK YOU