Thursday, 24 March 2011

Latest News

Lots of lovely sun this week, so quite a bit of activity on the farm, Martin has started twittering (ha ha, I know that should be tweeting) so follw @rippleorganics to get news of what we're doing in the fields.

And for those living in and around Wye, take a look at the Wye Food website to find out what's going on at the first ever Wye Food Festival in June

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Leeks Lifecycle

Digging leeks, March 2011

Here's us harvesting leeks on Tuesday this week, a lovely spring day. When the ground is too wet or when we just have a small amount to harvest (or when the tractor is being used elsewhere) we just loosen them with a fork, then they need pulling up, and roots and topped and trimmed. Finally, back in the shed, we peel off the outer layers and they are ready.

Leek Harvest in Olantigh Field, March 2011

Meanwhile, back in the seeding greenhouse, many of the new season's leeks are already seeded and growing. We grow some leeks in module trays, sowing several seeds per module so we don't get too may giant leeks; and some in trays, which will then be transplanted into a 'nursery bed' for a while, before being transplanted into their final home

leek seedlings, march 2011

Leek Nursery, June 2010
 And this is what the leeks looked like back in December, not so easy to harvest then!

Leeks - December 2010

Monday, 14 March 2011

Spring Soup

2-3 small leeks
1 medium carrot
1 litre vegetable stock
1 lemon
1 handful green garlic

Wash and cut up the leeks, soften in a little butter or oil. Add the diced carrot and stock to the leeks and simmer for 20 mins. Add the zest and juice from the lemon and the shredded green garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add salt if desired.

Thanks to Nigel Slater for the inspiration for this soup, I hadn't thought of adding lemon to a soup before, very tasty.  You can substitute cabbage or kale for the wild garlic.

Monday, 7 March 2011

A sign of Spring - Wild Garlic / Ramsons

For some years now we have harvested wild garlic from some woodland on an organic farm belonging to friends of ours in Egerton. In return we provide them with waste vegetables for their pigs.
We want to continue harvesting the wild garlic for years to come so we only pick the leaves and flowers, and the area it grows on there is big enough that we can rotate which bits we harvest from each year.
 You may find the leaves in your stir-fry bags, salad bags or bagged on their own, just rub the leaf between your fingers and smell, no mistaking them then! As the season progresses you will also find some of the beautiful white flowerheads in with the leaves, which are the prettiest salad ingredient and give a strong garlic hit too!

A couple of leaves in a sandwich really gives it a taste of spring, or add to green leaf salad, or to an omelette. Cut up finely and add to a bowl of soup just before serving or tear up some leaves and add to a winter stew for the last 5 minutes of cooking. I've even used a few leaves as a substitute for cloves of garlic in hummus (makes the hummus green, of course!). I plan on trying wild garlic pesto this year, let us know how you eat yours....