Newsletter 24th June 2019
On the farm
It seems to be a case of one step forward and one back, as so often happens in life! As I write this on Monday morning it feels distinctly wintery, with very little light and quite a lot of rain. The courgettes will be sulking. Ah well, the forecast is brighter for later in the week, to cheer them up and perhaps allow us to plant out our final batch of field brassicas for the 2018/19 season. We can but hope!
It has been all go indoors. Our nursery tunnel, in which we raise many thousands of young veg plants for our fields, is now emptied. The last of the young plants destined for the fields are now in the hardening off area (where they get a chance to be used to the outdoors before being planted). We continue almost all year with sowings for the tunnels, but we don’t need a dedicated tunnel for these and the seedlings sit happily on benches beside the “big” veg. The nursery tunnel is now transformed, and planted with lettuce and kohl rabi, and dwarf French beans will join them later in the week. Now that the main crops are almost all planted outside our attention there has turned to weeding. Well, as long as the rain is not too heavy! We also have space on out hardening off benches for a few trays of wildflower seedlings which we will plant around the farm towards the end of the summer and early autumn. It’s not just the wildlife that benefits from these. Right now the hedge outside the veg shed has a fine underskirt of white Ox-eye daisy, purple Restharrow and is interwoven with pink Dog roses – just what’s needed to raise rain-dampened spirits!
Recipe: Jamie Oliver’s Lemony Spring Greens
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
500 g spring greens
Finely grate the lemon zest, then transfer to a jam jar. Squeeze half the lemon into the jar. Add the extra virgin olive oil to the jar with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Put the on the jar and shake well. Have a taste and see whether you think it needs a bit more lemon juice or oil.
Half-fill a large saucepan with cold water and add a tiny pinch of salt. Bring to the boil. Meanwhile, finely slice the spring greens. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the spring greens and cook for 3 to 4 mins, or until tender but still bright green. Once cooked, drain the spring greens then tip back into the pan. Give the dressing another good shake up, then drizzle it over the greens. Using tongs, gently toss the spring greens in the dressing while they’re still hot to help them soak up all the dressing, then transfer to a bowl and serve straight away.