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Those hanging baskets you gave us

poly tunnel with hanging basketsAll the hanging baskets that you have donated to us are now full of compost and sown with greens for future picking when they have grown. The extra growing space is much appreciated by grower Ian and the work shares as it allows more for all of you who receive a crop share each week (well except for the two weeks when we are closed after Christmas).

The Go Local Food poly tunnels are now brimming with growing crops for our members to receive in their crop shares.

All the beds in the poly tunnels are full of good things – kale, spinach, lambs lettuce, pak choi, radish, chard, Chinese cabbage …. And all sown successionally to keep the vegetables coming. And the hanging baskets have such things as mizuna in them.

The sorrel rescued from the field and planted up in tubs is looking as if it is going to thrive. The small rooted cuttings of a week ago are putting out shoots and leaves to prove that they are willing to be harvested later in the season.


Jobs planned for the All Hands volunteers

THerb labelshe plan at Go Local Food this Saturday morning is to continue with splitting the herb tubs this weekend. One of the newer work shares, Chas, has been busy and created the nice, sturdy large labels that will be used to name the different tubs. These are nice and big so should not be easily lost. As happened in some cases last season.

There has been some discussion over what the various mints are as they all look the same at this time of year when they are just starting to show. There is ginger mint, chocolate mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, Moroccan mint and everyday ordinary mint.

Mint is a great addition to light summer soups (it pairs especially well with pea, courgette, asparagus and other green vegetables). Plus it’s a great garnish for desserts and drinks – try it sprinkled over sugared strawberries (chocolate mint is specially good here) or add it to fruit drinks, cocktails or Moroccan-style sweet tea, preserved in vinegar or oil to drizzle over salads and potatoes or frozen in ice cubes to be added to chilled summer drinks.

There are packets of mangetout and radicchio that could do with sowing in trays to start off in one of the poly tunnels too. And those are just some of the jobs that need doing now. Who knows what else can be found to do if we have many volunteers – something can be found for anyone who has time to spare.

Crop share week ending 25th February 2017

TurnipsIan says potatoes, carrots, brussel sprout tops, onions, turnips (NOT swede), parsnips, greens

The main difference between a swede and a turnip is the appearance of the vegetable. Turnips are white-fleshed, and swedes are yellow-fleshed. Swedes are slightly larger, rounder and firmer than turnips, and their leaves are smoother.

But if you really want to know all about the differences then this is the website that will tell you.  I suppose that you will all want recipes for turnips as well? Well you had best go and look at this selection – beef and turnip stew in beer anyone? Turnip casserole? Turnip and bacon casserole? Pork and Turnip Fricassee ? The list goes on and there must be something there to suit everyone as there are vegetarian options too.


Working in Willow, the second workshop

second willow workshop

We’ve done the January event and now it’s time for the second part. Book your place for the February workshop – creating a willow sculpture.  I remember a mention of dressing the grower and thought “well no that won’t be Ian” so it should be interesting to see what the sculpture will really be!

The event runs from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, with refreshments and lunch all for the price of £10! There are only 6 places available so email, add your name to the list in the Palace or call 01661 832296 as soon as you can.

Catching up with jobs in pictures

It’s thought that the crop share collection area may well be waterproof – felting has been applied to the roof! That’s a good move.pole rack

The promised racks for stacking poles on have been built.


There are some buddleias in tubs waiting to be dug in down by the old compost heap at the bottom of the fields. Hopefully these will take and form a hedge that is attractive to wild life. It’s unlikely that we shall get them to flower this year as it’s late planting and old stock. Maxine from Halls of Heddon allowed Ian to have a look through the pile and take what he thought would flourish. Thank you Maxine from Halls of Heddon.

Sorrel in bucketploughing

26 buckets of sorrel have been planted up after John spent time lifting it from outside where it hadn’t thrived. These buckets have been put in one of the poly tunnels to grow on for future crop shares And that cleared area has now been ploughed ready to be worked over so that it can be planted up later in the season.

parsley in buckets

Next to the sorrel are some very healthy looking tubs of parsley. Ian says that these could provide pick your own herbs next week as part of the crop share. And of course there is always the Friday job of bringing in the crop share.

sprouts coming in

barrow of leeks

Ian and sprouts