Welcome to the Week 5 of the Field 28 veg box scheme. At last we have had some much-needed rainfall and a drop from the tropical temperatures of the past few weeks. It has allowed us to reduce our watering schedule which we are grateful for and made the ground so much easier to work. Successional sowings and transplants are continuing in the field beds and the indoor growing is gradually coming back to life to supply the veg boxes with a weekly micro salad of some type.
We are hearing rumblings now from distributors looking to secure our high-quality products to strengthen their supply lines along with opening dates being discussed for restaurants and pubs especially those with outdoor spaces. As with many businesses a period of notice is required to get back to work or in our case actually grow the crops. It may well end up as a finger in the wind guess and run with it. There are times when after considering all the science and evidence you have to go with your instincts and just do what you think is the right thing!
Once again, this week we have almost reached our limits of boxes to sell so many thanks for your ongoing support. Most of our boxes are now taken by regular weekly or fortnightly subscriptions which reduces our admin considerably. We are getting some requests to swap items in the boxes which is difficult for us. We plan each weeks boxes in advance and grow to order. We aim to produce a nicely balanced box in each of the two sizes with brassicas, salad items, micro greens and usually potatoes but only if they are really good. This week we have changed to organic Casablanca first earlies. You may also see items alternate between boxes usually where weekly harvest is limited in order to ensure quality is preserved.
The field grown salad leaves this week is rocket. Its as fresh as can be only harvested on demand for Thursdays pick up. It would go well in a salad with the Roscoff onions that are in the large boxes this week and the plum tomatoes. Drizzle with a little balsamic and it’s a true taste of Summer. The Roscoff onions are the sweetest of all onion varieties combining sweetness on first bite with the aftertaste of a red onion. Our tunnel courgettes are now producing well along with cucumbers. In the large box the variety is Styx which is our main crop variety of choice.
Early season baby kale is inlcude din both boxes this week. Harvested at a very early stage it is so tender that you could for instance mix it with the rocket in a cold salad or cook it as normal kale including my favourite which is crispy!
This week saw the first of our heirloom beetroot going into boxes and this week we have added a mixed bunch of golden, red and Chioggia heirloom beets to box boxes. Fabulous tastes and textures either gently cooked or eaten raw.
We have moved on from the French Breakfast Radish variety and this week we have added the variety “red meat” which is a lovely red globed type, crunchy when as freshly picked as this with a good hit of peppery flavour.
The first broad beans are picked from our field in June and we will pick through to July although the season can last through to September in a good season. These are young enough to be lovely and tender on cooking….or if you’re as talented as our good friend Aiden Byrne you can create a wonderful chilled soup to go on the Summer table complete with Goats cheese and a splash of black olive oil.
IN the carrier bags this week you will find Chard in the medium box and a gorgeous Spring Cabbage in the large boxes. The bags and boxes are overflowing with produce this week. The brassica in the medium box is the last repeat of the collard greens. Remember you can treat these hand selected leaves like a cabbage or even kale.
Following your micro-pea shoots and radish shoots in earlier boxes we have come back to Jans famous Gourmet Microgreen salad. She was out earlier today harvesting the edible flowers that adorn the recyclable punnet we supply them in. The whole contents of the punnet are edible.
As many of you may know Jan and I normally have a full-time job running The Dental Academy next door to Field 28. We have heard this week that we are being allowed to reopen on Monday 15th January which means that we will have to amend our pickup times for next week. We will confirm the exact time in due course. Its likely to remain on a Thursday but move to an evening slot.
During our enforced layoff, we have been busy developing the Field 28 site and if you drive by now can see the full driveway as we have opened up the verge ready for the final carriageway construction which we hope to complete by the end of the season.
JANS WEEKLY FAVOURITE.
Jan created a fabulous Tomato tatin using baby mixed oyellow and red baby plum tomatoes in your boxes this week.
Either make your own or for a quick fix use bought in puff pastry. Work into the dough 100g of grated cheddar cheese. The stronger flavour the better. Roll out the pastry so its a smidge bigger than your ovenproof dish.
Cook one onion thinly sliced with a handful of thyme leaves and half a tablespoon of demerera sugar. Cook for five minutes before removing from the heat. Take a tablespoon of olive oil , warm it up in your ovenprof tin and add two cloves of garlic which you have thinly sliced bring to a bubble, add another half tablespoon of sugar and stir it in. Remove from the heat.
Arrange 250g of baby plum tomatoes in halves upside down on the bottom of your ovenproof tin and layer over the caramelised onions. Place the pastry on the top and seal the edges. Brush with egg white and cook for approx 25mins at 180 degrees C. Goes really well wit