Vital Veg, organic farm, leeks

Newsletter 17th January 2022

On the farm
Preparation, preparation, preparation. That is what is going on on the farm at this time of year. Our seeds are on their way, and we will soon be making the nursery tunnel ready for the first sown crop – leeks!

This time of year seems to come around so fast. In the slim window of opportunity we need to do much of our maintenance work, to prevent problems later in the season. So we are preparing our tunnels and sheds, and making any repairs. We are checking drains and fixing fences. This year we need to cut back some of the gorse and broom that grow so fast and push onto the fences! They are wonderful plants and provide food and lodging for many creatures that share our farm, but we need to keep them in check otherwise they would eventually flatten our fences and take over the veg field! We are grateful for the good weather because we can get out and do this work before the bird nesting season, which is only a few weeks away! In many years these important outdoor jobs are hampered by snow and ice, or mud! So we are very happy that this year we have a chance to get ahead.

Alongside all the maintenance we are still harvesting field vegetables. We have ridged up our carrots and beetroots with soil to protect them from the frosts. They are so much better stored in the field rather than in the shed. The ridges have a downside, of course! They make it harder for us to walk along the rows, and it is a bit more work to dig out the vegetables. Parsnips are more frost tolerant, so we don’t ridge them up. Just as well because these already require more effort to dig than the carrots! As well as these we have lots of leeks, cabbages, kales and an intermittent supply of lovely purple sprouting broccoli. It is so popular that each flush sells out very fast. Apologies if you have ordered this and we have not been able to supply it. Now that we are heading into longer days we should have a better supply from the plants.

This weeks’ potatoes
This weeks’ potatoes are Arran Victory. This is an old flourly variety, bred in Scotland (as you might guess!) in the early 1900’s. It has a purple skin, and dazzling white flesh with great flavour. It is not really one for boiling (other than for soups), but comes into its own roasted chipped or baked. If you do boil it, use big chunks and keep an eye on them.

The cost of cardboard is soaring. It really helps us keep our own prices stable 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