Roots News – 12th Jul 2020

Midsummer has been and gone, along with the peak of our sowing and planting out. Leeks, winter cabbages and kales now added to the field planting which swells demand on us to keep everything monitored, water, ‘cabbage white’ butterflies and rabbits are our biggest troubles! But so far so good. Whilst these winter veggies ‘manage themselves’, being ready to harvest in a wider window of time, standing and holding well in the cooler autumn weather, other crops need a ‘succession’ of planting; lettuces, beans, courgettes, beetroot, small amounts sown regularly gives that constant supply of fresh picking for you, our customers.

Kohl rabi - my favourite at the moment
One of the joys of being a small organic grower with customers excited by and ready to try our produce is the opportunity to grow more unusual veg or varieties that wouldn’t be available where harvesting on mass or lengthy supply chains damage delicate texture and flavours. Two perfect examples are the wonderful pale green ‘Genovese’ courgettes that we grow with superior flavour but such delicate pale skins, careful handling is really important. Equally the lovely courgette flowers that we can harvest, fresh to order. And my favourite at the moment, kohl rabi. From the brassica family, the swollen stem of the plant, roughly the size of a turnip (also known as a ‘German Turnip’) has a most unusual appearance, but don’t be put off! Good raw or cooked, a slaw, roasted or stewed, with the flavour of a nutty cabbage – some of our favourite recipes are here.

A wrap of seasonal flowers
Flowers from the gardens are changing from late spring to early summer. As the later flowering perennials fade from their first flush and prepare to flower again in late summer, the annuals are coming into their stride. We grow ‘Zinnia’ really well in a range of colours and textures. They last brilliantly in the vase adding a splash fun to bouquets. You can order a wrap of our seasonal flowers here – at only £10 our weekend bunches are a snip.

Farm Shop news
For those customers that have been enjoying the opportunity to pre-order their shopping for collection or delivery, you will be pleased to hear that this service is planned to continue and that over the next few weeks we will start to show you glimpses of a new way to order your shopping with us. A scheme that we began in the winter and paused as we coped with ‘pandemic pandemonium’ will be unveiled very soon… we are very excited! We will of course write with news as soon as possible but do keep an eye on our website and social media.

The romance of farming
We’re sure you haven’t all been worrying about our haymaking (which has been happening despite the challenges of mixed weather) – the worrying has been left to Grandad Lewis (Meg’s Dad) who has been enjoying his own special lockdown in the cab of our tractor. Haymaking means cutting fields of grass and through a process of turning the cut grass allowing the sun and wind to dry it naturally ‘making the hay’ until it can be bundled up in bales, which are then collected and stored in the barn, winter feed for cattle and sheep. But for some (including Grandad) there is undoubtedly a romance going on here. The romance of farming, working with nature, the seasons, the soil, the animals and plants, how lucky we are to live in a beautiful, productive part of the world where we have the opportunity to grow food for our community. A life-long romance in which we all share.