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  • What we’re getting in our vegetable boxes

    Posted on August 21st, 2009 charlotte No comments

    We can expect to find some tomatoes and a cauliflower among the contents of this week’s veg boxes.

    tomatoesThese vegetables come from Richard Hore, our new supplier at Rest Harrow, Trebetherick (between Daymer Bay and Rock).  They’re not grown to organic principles, but are freshly picked and have clocked up few food miles – barely five in fact.

    The potatoes and onions are our own contribution to the harvest.  They’ve been grown by our volunteers on Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s two-acre plot at St Kew Highway. 

    Our expert growers are providing the rest of the box contents.  Salad bags – Jane Mellowship, cucumber and curly parsley – Jeremy Brown, celery – Mark Norman. 

    See this week’s Recipe No 8 – Braised celery

  • Seasonal recipe No 7 – Cucumber raita

    Posted on August 14th, 2009 Trish 1 comment

    cucumber - Camel CSA 13-08-09Serve this as a side dish with curries or simply as a dip. This recipe is from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook.  Without the turmeric and with a bit more garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil, you’ll have Greek tzatziki. And the Turkish cucumber and yoghurt salad cacik is pretty much identical too.

    Draining time: 30 minutes
    Preparation time: 5 minutes

    Serves 4-6

    ½ cucumber
    ¼ teaspoon fine salt
    200g mild natural yoghurt
    small bunch of mint
    1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    small pinch of ground turmeric or paprika

    Grate the cucumber – you don’t need to skin – and put it in a sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle it with the fine salt and leave it to drain for half an hour. Pat the cucumber dry with kitchen paper. Mix with the yoghurt, mint, garlic and just enough water to give you the consistency you want, usually in the region of 100ml. Add a pinch of turmeric for extra flavour and pale yellow colouring or sprinkle paprika over the top.

    I didn’t find it necessary to add water! There are many variations on this recipe: Delia Smith slices rather than grates the cucumber and adds a finely chopped spring onion, 2 pinches cayenne pepper and 1 pinch cumin seeds; Madhur Jaffrey doesn’t bother with draining the cucumber and uses 1 pinch roasted cumin seeds. But whichever way you make it, it’s a refreshing and cooling dish.

    Click here to see all the recipes that Camel CSA members have recommended so far.

  • This week’s share of the harvest

    Posted on July 30th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Members of Camel Community Supported Agriculture can expect to find up to a dozen freshly-harvested vegetables in their boxes this week.

    Camel CSA 30-07-09The beetroot, onions, radishes, turnips and Swiss chard have been cultivated on our own site at St Kew Highway.

    Camel CSA’s expert growing team are providing the remainder of the box contents from their own plots.

    Mark Norman has grown the courgettes, which feature in Camel CSA’s Recipe No 5 – Courgette frittata, at his site on the outskirts of Bodmin.   He has also supplied the new potatoes, which are Marfona variety.  The British Potato Council says these have an almost “buttery” flavour and a smooth waxy texture.

    Jane and Gav Mellowship are supplying large and small mixed salad bags from their plot on the coast at New Polzeath.

    Jeremy Brown has produced the parsley, spinach and cucumbers on his land behind St Kew Harvest Farm Shop.

    Watch our latest video: Camel CSA – Our first harvest

  • They really do deserve a medal!

    Posted on July 29th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Camel CSA 26-07-09 The volunteer growing team braved monsoon conditions on Sunday to plant nearly 1,000 brassica seedlings donated by Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s latest sponsors – Fentongollan Farm at Tresillian.

    The rain ran down inside our collars, our trowels got clogged with wet earth and our boots became totally caked in mud, but we all remained remarkably cheerful. 

    In all, we planted 10 long rows – five of purple sprouting broccoli (two varieties) and five of winter cabbage (Dutch white and primo).

    The generous donation of over 1,500 plants means that we can look forward to plenty of green vegetables in the early part of next year. 

    By then we hope we’ll have been successful in our bid for outside funding from the Lottery’s Local Food programme to enable us to buy a polytunnel to raise our own seedlings and salad crops. 

    Camel CSA 26-07-09 Jeremy Hosking of Fentongollan explained why he offered us his surplus brassica plants:

    “We do raise millions of plants every year – 80 million in fact.  We have certain lines that don’t always sell out so rather than throw them away we like to give them away.”

    And for this we’re extremely grateful!


    Last Friday Camel CSA expert grower Jeremy Brown and our secretary Mike Sadler singlehandedly planted 450 donated kale seedlings – both red and green varieties. 

    Later this week we will plant the cauliflower and leeks that make up the remainder of the gift from Fentongollan.  Weather permitting, we’ll also start preparing another planting area.

    The torrential rain is helping the seedlings to put out new shoots.  At least they won’t need watering in.  Lengths of fleece are protecting them from a long list of hungry predators – from rabbits to badgers to pheasants to pigeons to slugs to snails.

    Camel CSA 26-07-09 A big thank you to the intrepid growing team – expert growers Mark Norman and Jeremy Brown plus Charlotte, Gillian, Kitty, Mike H, Mike S, six-year-old Sophie and Freddie, aged four.

    Sharing the harvest

    There was also a keen turnout last Friday to help with the picking and packing of 24 vegetable boxes for our members.  Grateful thanks to expert grower Jeremy Brown and to Callum, Henrietta, Jenny, Mark, Mike H, Penny, Robert, Steve and Trish.

    Over the next few weeks we can look forward to more onions, potatoes, Swiss chard, beetroot, turnip, radishes, lettuce and parsley plus runner beans and another crop of peas.  Provided we get some warm sunshine and the slugs and snails stay away, we will also have some French beans. 

    However the non-stop rain is also resulting in a new crop of weeds, so the growing team needs all the help it can get on Friday and Sunday mornings.

    We look forward to seeing you.  Just make sure you bring waterproofs and wellies! 

    Watch our latest video: Camel CSA – Our first harvest

  • Sharing the Big Lunch surrounded by yurts

    Posted on July 22nd, 2009 Danny No comments

    Bad weather meant we had to move Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s first Big Lunch event from our site at St Kew Highway to South Penquite Farm on Bodmin Moor, home of Cathy our treasurer.

    We sheltered in the farm’s education centre from the strong wind and the rain which was getting even heavier. Our members mixed with campsite guests to enjoy a delightful lunch with a huge variety of delicious dishes. 

    Camel CSA 19-07-09Everybody made such an effort to create amazing homemade food for all of us to share.  Broad bean salad, vegetable stir fry, pea soup, seasonal spelt salad, tortilla, quiche and lots of cakes disappeared quickly.

    The children were able to enjoy themselves on a bouncy castle and play football in the barn.  Then they disappeared to seek further adventures in the campsite’s three yurts. 

    Adults enjoyed folk music entertainment on harmonica and guitar.  There were smiles, laughter, singing and talking all around the table.   Jonny Blenkin, one of the campers, said:

    “Thank you so much for inviting us. We had a fantastic time.”

    (This post was written by both Danny and Antonina.)

  • Broad bean glut over

    Posted on July 17th, 2009 charlotte 2 comments

    Camel Community Supported Agriculture regrets to announce that the broad beans have gone over, so there are none in the latest veg share.  You probably have mixed feelings about this.  But remember to keep all those recipes for next year!

    Camel CSA 17-07-09Some succulent baby carrots are included in the veg boxes this week.  We did sort them out, but some of the tops are a little chewed.  We think either rabbits or badgers are the culprits.

    There are surplus older peas available at the box distribution point for any members who would like to help themselves.  They are rather starchy, but can be used in soups and casseroles. 

    The small £5 box contains: – 700g potatoes, 700g peas, baby carrots, two onions, Swiss chard, spring onion bunch, 100g salad bag, a few chive stems

    The standard £8 box contains: – 1kg potatoes, 1kg peas, baby carrots, three onions, Swiss chard, spring onion bunch, 140g salad bag, bunch of chives, cabbage, cucumber

    If you’d like to give feedback on box content, please click on the comments link at the top of this post. We really want to know what you think.  Also tell us what you’ve done with the vegetables.

    More and more Camel CSA members are signing up for a share in the harvest.  We filled a total of 22 veg boxes this week, up from just 15 a fortnight ago.

    Please remember to return your empty box when you collect your fresh one next Friday.

    And don’t forget the Big Lunch on the site at 1 p.m. on Sunday!  We look forward to seeing you there.

    Watch our latest video: Camel CSA – Our first harvest

  • Seasonal recipe No 3 – New potatoes baked in parchment

    Posted on July 17th, 2009 charlotte 2 comments

    This spectacular but easy dish can be found on the Riverford Organic Vegetables website

    Preparation time: 5 minutes
    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Per person:
    1 sheet baking parchment
    5 small new potatoes
    5 cloves of garlic unpeeled – wet garlic can also be used
    small branch rosemary or several branches of thyme
    1 tbsp virgin olive oil
    salt & black pepper

    The idea for this came from Alice Waters at Chez Panisse.

    1. If the potatoes are large – cut in half, wash, but leaves skins on. Preheat oven to 200ºC (gas mark 6).

    2. Fold the baking parchment in half to make a crease; open and lay potatoes on the lower half. Tuck in garlic and herbs. Pour olive oil over spuds and season with salt and pepper. Bring the rest of the paper down and roll lightly along the edges to form a pouch (a bit like pastry). Make sure that the package is sealed.

    3. Bake for 30 minutes and serve immediately. The ‘pastry’ packages will “puff up”. The packages are best opened at the table.

    I first tasted this delicious method of preparing the new potatoes in our veg boxes when visiting Riverford Organic Vegetables in Devon to tour the farm and to have lunch in its Field Kitchen.  The resident chef, Jane Baxter, used to work at the River Cafe in London.  It shows!

    If you have a way of cooking new potatoes you’d like to share, please let us have it.  Click on the comments link at the top of this post and get writing…

    Click here to see all the recipes that Camel CSA members have recommended so far.

    Watch our latest video: Camel CSA – Our first harvest

  • Sweet baby carrots

    Posted on July 16th, 2009 charlotte No comments
    Camel CSA - small veg boxes

    Camel CSA - small veg boxes

    We can expect some baby carrots in this week’s share of the harvest at Camel CSA.  Try them for our Big Lunch!

    Expert grower Jane Mellowship says:

    “Here is the list of veg expected to go in the boxes on Friday.

    Small box (£5): potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, spring onions, Swiss chard, broad beans, small salad bag

    Standard box (£8): potatoes, carrots, onions, peas, spring onions, Swiss chard, broad beans, large salad bag plus cabbage, cucumber, chives

    Of course this could be subject to change!”

    Please remember to return your empty vegetable box when you collect your fresh one on Friday.

    Watch our latest video: Camel CSA – Our first harvest

  • Watch new Camel CSA video – Our first harvest

    Posted on July 15th, 2009 Pickle Design No comments

    Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s latest video celebrates our first harvest.  It marks the red letter day when members received their first vegetable box shares. 

    This video features our volunteer picking and packing team at work, while two of our three expert growers reflect on what we’ve achieved so far.

    Many thanks to Graham Smith of Ragged Trouser Productions.

    Camel CSA - first volunteer day

    Camel CSA - first volunteer day

    Camel CSA - why we got involved

    Camel CSA - why we got involved

    Click here to watch our two earlier videos: Camel CSA – Why we got involved and Camel CSA – First volunteer day.

  • Camel CSA hits the headlines

    Posted on July 14th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Cornwall’s two community supported agriculture projects are in the news again.

    Both Camel CSA and West Penwith CSA featured in the Western Morning News on Monday in the green communities section.  We’re also in this week’s Cornish Guardian.

    Growers pool skills to produce veg boxes – Western Morning News 13-07-09

    Camel growers reap the fruits – and veg – of their labours – Cornish Guardian 15-07-09