In the bags this week:
Produce from: Hughes Organics (Norfolk), Breckland Organics (Norfolk B), Woodlands Organics (Lincolnshire), Riverdale Farm (Cambridgeshire) and other small farmers in East Anglia, Sarah Green (Essex), our Hawkwood Plant Nursery growing site (Chingford) and local ‘Cropshare’ growers. Produce occasionally comes from organic farmers David and Jane Barker (Norfolk), organic farmer and local wholesaler Perry Court Farm (Kent) and from organic wholesaler Langridge (especially non-UK fruit). Contents may vary due to availability.
Standard vegetable bags have New potatoes), Spring onions (Essex), Bunched carrots, Peppers, Cucumbers (Norfolk), Beetroot, Broad Beans (Essex) and Mixed Salad (Chingford). No potato bags have Fennel (Essex).
Large vegetable bags have same as standard with more potatoes, Round beans (Norfolk) instead of Broad Beans; Fennel and Chard (Essex) instead of Peppers and Cucumbers plus Aubergine (Norfolk). No potato bags have Celery (Norfolk).
Medium veg bags have New potatoes, Bunched carrots, Round beans (Norfolk), Fennel (Essex), Beetroot and Mixed salad (Chingford). No potato bags have Courgettes (Norfolk).
Small vegetable bags have New potatoes, Lettuce, Broad beans (Essex), Bunched carrots and Aubergine (Norfolk). No potato bags have Kohl Rabi (Essex).
Standard fruit bags have bananas (Dominican Republic), Galia melon, Peaches (Italy), Apricots and Plums (Spain).
Medium fruit bags have Plums (Spain), Peaches and Nectarines (Italy) and Apricots (Chingford).
Small fruit bags have Bananas (Dominican Republic), Nectarines (Italy) and Plums (Spain).
About the Produce:
Beetroot (Chingford): A magnificent mixed bunch for the Medium bags this week which includes: Golden Detroit – more subtle in flavour than purple beet and will glow with goldenness when sliced; Chioggia – struck through with pink/white spirals inside and have a very delicate flavour; Cylindra – sweet with an earthy-caramel taste, these roots stand proud above the soil but can be earthed up, and remain in good condition over a long period. All Beet leaves can be cooked and eaten like Spinach (the Cylindra leaves are sweeter and especially “beety” tasting, just like their roots which are especially lovely when roasted.)
Fennel (Essex): Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men. It’s also known as Florence fennel, finocchio, or sweet fennel, is very popular in Italian cookery, and has a bulb-like shape that looks a little like a heavy-bottomed celery. Cut into very thin slices for salads (a mandolin is good for this). Boil or steam (up to 20 minutes for a whole head, or up to 12 minutes for wedges). Roast (40-50 minutes).
Apricots (Chingford): Shining a luminescent orange in the Medium fruit bags this week, this year’s very first Organiclea apricots are so sweet it’s been a struggle to save them from the squirrels. Enjoy raw or poach with a drizzle of honey, a few tablespoons of boiling water and serve with soya yoghurt for a breakfast treat.