Newsletter - December 2018

This month we've got our usual updates from the farm, plus details of our Christmas box deliveries, an introduction to kalettes, and info about how you can get your hands on a beautiful 2019 calendar produced by the Landworkers' Alliance. Wishing you all a very happy and healthy festive season!

An update from the farm

As the days shorten and the weather becomes more unpredictable, the rate of growth for crops really slows down. This may mean less variety but there is still plenty of wonderful, seasonal produce available at this time including Brussel sprouts, Kalettes, cabbages, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, kales, beetroot, swedes, and parsnips. The Shillingford team have been enjoying making and exchanging some seasonal recipes including beetroot ketchup, Balinese beetroot curry and red cabbage and leek biryani. 

Our final planting of the year, garlic, is now in the ground and our efforts have turned towards protecting our crops for winter. We have covered our broad beans with mesh to keep the pigeons off, and we are building a cloche to protect our chard and leaf beets. We have also been busy weeding the tunnel crops and clearing the last of our tomatoes and cucumbers. 

And finally, we are delighted to welcome Harry Neve to the Shillingford team. Harry joined in November as a Grower and we very much look forward to working with him!

*Christmas Box Deliveries*

There will be no box delivery during the Christmas week:
24th December - 30th December 2018.

Important Changes to Delivery Days before and after Christmas:

Week Beginning 17th December – 23rd December 2018
Tuesday Deliveries will be made on Thursday 20th December
Thursday/Friday Deliveries will be made on Friday 21st December

Week Beginning 31st December – 6th January 2019
Tuesday Deliveries will be made on Thursday 3rd January
Thursday/Friday Deliveries will be made on Friday 4th January

Vegetable of the month

Brassica oleracea

This is the first year we've grown kalettes so this is a new one for us too! Kalettes or flower sprouts are a cross between kale and Brussel Sprouts. They are milder and sweeter than Brussel sprouts with a slightly nutty taste. They are rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin K.
The tops are a very attractive deep red/green with purple veins – you can use them in the same way as kale or Brussel Sprout tops. As for the kalettes, they are best cooked whole. You can roast, steam, stir-fry, or grill them, or even eat them raw. They can be added to pestos, smoothies or used in stir-fries, pasta, or as a side dish. Let us know how you eat yours!

The plants are very similar to Brussel sprouts. We are growing a variety called Snowdrop. They were planted as plug plants at the end of May and got off to a difficult start as it was so dry when they first went into the ground and they have since suffered from some pigeon and aphid damage. They are definitely going to keep us busy in the next couple of weeks as they take a long time to harvest!



A quick note on onions...

We have come to the end of our Shillingford-grown onions for this year. The yield was slightly down on last year due to the dry conditions during the summer and we don't have the facilities to store onions beyond January anyway. So from next week, the onions in your boxes will be coming from Bagthorpe Farm in Norfolk, which believe it or not, is the most locally we can source them. Most of the produce in our boxes is grown on the farm and where possible we buy locally from within Devon. But onions just don't fare so well in the damp South West. You will still find a few of our Shillingford onions at the Farmers' Market in Exeter on Thursday. *Beautiful Landworkers' Alliance Calendars*

Looking for a lovely Christmas present for your foodie friends and family? Shillingford Organics is part of the Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) - a grassroots union representing farmers, growers and land-based workers in the UK. The LWA have produced a beautiful 2019 calendar containing 12 original lino-cut prints by Bristol-based artist Rosanna Morris illustrating farming today, accompanied by stories of key events in history that have shaped our agricultural system. All money raised by the sales of these calendars goes towards supporting the work of the LWA and their fantastic work on post-Brexit food and agriculture policy in the UK. Follow the link below in order to buy the calendar - they make lovely presents and are a great way to keep you organised in the year ahead!