Organic potatoes at Vital Veg Aberdeenshire

Newsletter 26th March 2018

On the Farm
Now that the clocks have sprung forward things the pressure is on.  We hope to be making the final preparations for our potato planting, and plan to get these in the ground in the next 10-14 days.  You have almost eaten all of last year’s crop – there are just a few weeks supply left in the shed and then we’ll be buying in from other growers until the new crop is ready.  You might find that the potatoes are keen to sprout.  This is because they know it is time to grow.  Just rub the sprouts off, and the tatties are fine to eat.  Because our potatoes are grown organically there are no chemical sprout suppressants on them – your thumb or knife is all that’s needed.

We are dodging the showers though, this week, and preparing for a very damp or snowy spell to come.  To be honest, we could do with skipping this and moving smoothly on to spring now!  We need to flail last years’ brassica crop that is now all harvested.  We need to do this to chop up all the stalks so that they decompose more quickly in the soil once this area is ploughed… and we need to get on because it will soon be time to sow more carrots!  But the ground is still too wet for the tractor… ho hum… joys of being a grower in a wet climate!

Things are looking good in the nursery tunnel.  will be ready to plant in about three weeks, and will take over from the over-wintered The leeks that we sowed a couple of weeks ago are just beginning to germinate, but it will be at least six weeks until they are big enough to plant out into the field, and September before they are ready to harvest – they like to take their time!

Recipe: Spicy Parsnip Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 cm cubes
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
750ml stock
2 teaspoons curry powder
100ml double cream
Dried chilli pepper flakes or paprika to garnish

Prep: 10min    Cook:25min   
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onion in butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the parsnips, garlic and curry powder, and fry for a couple of minutes to release the flavours.  Add stock to pan and stir well.
Simmer for 15 mins until parsnips are soft and easy to break with a wooden spoon.  Take off the heat and blend with hand mixer or food processor.
Stir in the cream and warm through.
Season to taste and garnish with the chilli flakes or paprika.

For handy reference – all the recipes in the newsletters are posted on our website! 