Newsletter - January 2019

Happy New Year! We hope you had a lovely festive season. In this newsletter Martyn reflects on the past year and highlights changes in the year to come at Shillingford, plus we have important reminders about our boxes and farm school courses. And if you're looking for a quick and easy way to get more veg into your diet this new year, read on to find our top tips for cooking healthy and delicious Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Wishing you all a very happy and healthy 2019!

End of 2018 - looking forward to 2019

Martyn reflects on the challenging growing year of 2018 and contextualises the changes ahead in 2019, both for Shillingford Organics as a business and nationally and globally given the current political climate. Click here to read his full piece. 

A quick note on our Brussel Sprouts...

We are sorry if our Brussel Sprouts were not up to our usual standard this year. They have been a bit hit and miss and you may have had to peel them back more than usual for your Christmas dinner. They got off to a difficult start this year with all the hot, dry weather in June and July and never really recovered. We think they are still pretty tasty though and we gave generous portions to account for the extra peeling that you may have had to do. Thanks for your understanding on this! 
 

Vegetable of the month
Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Brassica oleracea
 

The best thing about Purple Sprouting Broccoli is how easy and versatile it is to cook. It has more flavour than calabrese and its delicate, earthy flavour can transform a simple plate of pasta or risotto. There's no easier way to get healthy greens into your diet.

Top tips:

  • It is best simply steamed or stir fried. Don't overcook as it will go mushy. 
  • You can split thicker stems to ensure that it cooks evenly
  • Good with: butter, olive oil, garlic, chilli, lemon, mustard, capers, olives, soy sauce, feta, blue cheese, eggs
  • Great for a quick pasta dinner - slice stalks and saute with sliced garlic, chilli and olive oil, add heads and leaves then stir through cooked pasta
Purple Sprouting Broccoli is very nutritious. It is rich in dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and antioxidants. It contains compounds which have been linked to impeding the growth of cancer cells, and may also provide resistance against heart disease, osteoporosis and heart disease.
 
At Shillingford Organics we grow several varieties of PSB, including Rudolf, Red Admiral, Red Fire, Rioja, Mendocino, Claret and Bonardo, to help ensure a continuous supply from December through to April. Each variety matures at a slightly different time. We buy plug plants from Wessex plants and plant these out in July. As a member of the Brassica oleracea family, PSB likes a fertile bed so it comes at the beginning of our rotation after two years of green manure. It is extremely cold hardy down to -10 degrees C, and while heavy snow and ice have been known to cause frozen branches to break off, you can still expect to see it in your boxes following the cold snap! 
 

Email issues

We are sorry some of you did not receive emails regarding the changes to our box deliveries over the Christmas period. There seems to be an issue with some emails either ending up in junk/spam folders or a number of domains including, sky, live, Hotmail as emails are not always getting through. Gmail seems to be the better option as there are no known issues (at the moment).

We understand not everyone will look at their emails, so as a backup, we usually add important information to the website, social media and our newsletter. It is important to check any of these when there are likely to be changes, for example bank holidays, Easter and Christmas.

Thank you to all our customers and supporters for making 2018 an amazing year, we hope you will stay with us, we can’t do it without you, let’s make 2019 an even better year. Keep Healthy.

GoCardless Payments

For our box scheme customers, please be aware payments made by GoCardless are taken in arrears, for example; when you place an order, the payment will leave your account in the following week, this seems to cause a little bit of confusion for some customers.

Shillingford Organics Farm School Courses: Winter is Here

 
Responding to families' demands, Farm School is running Winter groups this year.

An opportunity for children and their parents to be outdoors in a healthy natural environment with endless learning opportunities. During 9/10 weeks we will be learning about Winter and all the hidden work that nature undertakes during this incredibly important time of year, and without which a birth cannot come about in the spring.
 
The three main elements of these 10 weeks are Natural art, Cooking and Growing and Science. 
 
Very limited places available. For details and booking please follow the links below:

‘Winter is Here’ home-schooling group 10 weeks: Fridays 10.15-12.15

‘Winter is Here’ pre-school group 9 weeks: Mondays 10.15-12.15

A prompt booking via the above links is advised. For any further enquiries please contact Fatma at farmschool@shillingfordorganics.co.uk or on 07517 153293