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  • Mud, mud… glorious Cornish mud

    Posted on January 29th, 2010 charlotte 1 comment

    So much for the first signs of springP&P 29-01-10 002When the north wind blows in North Cornwall it strikes with a vengeance.

    Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s picking and packing team discovered this today as they battled against the elements to get this week’s veg boxes ready for our members.

    First the root vegetables – the parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and carrots – had to be dug up in the teeth of the gale. 

    Then they had to be washed clean of the mud that enveloped them.  By hand. Outdoors. At the edge of the field. 

    Try that in freezing conditions!

    The adverse weather meant yet again the eagerly-anticipated purple sprouting broccoli wasn’t available from our suppliers. 

    P&P 29-01-10 washing carrotsMushrooms were also a little short, so we had to raid our own patch for cabbages. Jeremy Brown provided mustard greens.

    In spite of these setbacks, the volunteer team remained very upbeat.  Special thanks to picking and packing supremo Trish and to Robert, Penny, Jennifer, Henrietta, Mike S, Gillian and Charlotte.

    P & P carrots 15-01-10P&P 29-01-10 washed root veg

  • First signs of spring in North Cornwall

    Posted on January 24th, 2010 charlotte No comments

    snowdrops-Dinham's-Bridge-camel-csa 24-01-10What a relief to see snowdrops emerging in the woods between St Mabyn and St Kew Highway.

    The ground is far too cold and saturated with melted ice and snow for us to start work yet on Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s vegetable plot.

    Once the earth warms up in late February / early March our volunteer growing team can begin preparing the ground, spreading compost and planting seed into cells to go in the polytunnel. 

    In the meantime we’re continuing to harvest our own parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and carrots as well as the remaining onions and shallots in store.  The rest of the weekly veg box contents are being sourced locally from growers in the immediate area.

  • It’s (s)no(w) problem!

    Posted on January 8th, 2010 charlotte 2 comments

    Congratulations to our intrepid picking and packing team who braved the wintry conditions to prepare Camel CSA’s first vegetable boxes of 2010.Picking-packing-team-camel-csa 08-01-10

    Only the onions in the boxes came from Camel CSA’s own share of the harvest.  Our dwindling crops of parsnips, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes and last of the beetroot are well and truly frozen into the ground.

    We’re grateful to local supplier Richard Hore of Rest Harrow Farm, Trebetherick for providing such a variety of green vegetables – leeks, curly kale and savoy cabbage as well as carrots.  And to our expert grower Jeremy Brown who collected the potatoes from Burlerrow Farm in icebound St Mabyn.

    We put together a total of 23 boxes for our members to pick up. Fortunately our site is next to the A39 “Atlantic Highway” which has been kept relatively clear from ice and snow.

    Picking-packing-camel-csa 08-01-10Local food

    The fact that we could provide fresh vegetables this week goes to show how important it is to be able to source food locally. 

    Supply chains across the country may be interrupted by the big freeze, but we’ve been able to keep our veg box scheme going – with just a little help from our friends in north Cornwall.

    As Making Local Food Work said this week in its response to the Government’s widely-reported new national food strategy: “Communities must be engaged in the future of food.”

    Many thanks to picking & packing supremo Trish, who fetched the veg from Trebetherick, and to the team – Cathy, Charlotte, Mike H, Mike S, Penny and Robert.

    And enjoy our heartwarming seasonal soup! Recipe No 26 – Leek soup with parmesan

  • Seasonal recipe No 21 – Root vegetable stew

    Posted on November 20th, 2009 Trish No comments

    This really tasty recipe comes from Riverford Organic Vegetables. It works just as well without the turnips – just add a bit more of the other roots.

    Preparation Time: 20 minutesroot vegetable stew-camel csa 20-11-09
    Cooking Time: 1 hour

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients
    2 large onions, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    250g puy lentils, rinsed
    3 tbsp oil
    2 tsp coriander seeds
    2 tsp cumin seeds
    250g carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
    250g turnips, peeled and chopped
    250g swede, peeled and chopped
    250g parsnips, peeled and chopped
    900ml vegetable stock
    1 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
    salt and pepper

    Method
    Saute the onion in hot oil with the crushed garlic, until the onion is transparent.

    Meanwhile, put the coriander and cumin seeds into a small pan and dry fry for a few minutes, stiring occasionally. Crush with a pestle and mortar. Add the seeds to the onion mixture and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the root vegetables to the onion mixture and cook for a few minutes. Add the lentils and stir well to mix. Pour in the stock and chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

    Cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes (or cook in a medium oven) until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are soft.

  • Fresh and seasonal

    Posted on October 29th, 2009 Trish No comments

    More of our own sweet carrots in this week’s veg boxes, plus onions, parsnips and chard, all grown at St Kew Highway.

    In the small boxes:parsnips-camel csa 29-1-2009
    * onions (Camel CSA)
    * carrots (Camel CSA)
    * parsnips (Camel CSA)
    * chard (Camel CSA
    potatoes (Burlerrow, St Mabyn)
    cauliflower (Rest Harrow Farm, Trebetherick)
    red cabbage (Rest Harrow Farm)

    Medium boxes also have
    * beetroot (Camel CSA)
    * borlotti beans – these need a good 20 minutes’ cooking (Jeremy Brown)
    leeks (Rest Harrow Farm)

    * = grown to organic principles

  • Seasonal recipe No 16 – Parmesan-baked parsnips

    Posted on October 16th, 2009 Trish No comments

    From Delia Smith’s Christmas cook book – but why wait till December?  You can prepare them in advance – up to 24 hours – or even prepare and freeze them when they will cook perfectly if allowed to defrost first.

    Serves: 4parmesan-baked-parsnips camel csa 15-10-09

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 40 minutes

    Ingredients
    600g parsnips
    80g plain flour
    50g freshly grated parmesan
    salt and pepper
    groundnut oil
    a knob of butter

    Method
    Combine the flour, parmesan, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Peel the parsnips, then halve and quarter lengthways and cut each length in half across so you end up with smallish chunks. (Of course, if it’s a Camel CSA parsnip, you’ll have to divide it up even more!) Put the parsnips in a saucepan, just cover with boiling water and add salt. Bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes.

    Drain the parsnips in a colander and while they are still steaming, using tongs, drop a few at a time into the flour mix, shaking the bowl to make sure they get a good even coating. As they are coated move them to a tray or plate. You need to work quite swiftly as they only get a good coating when still steamy.

    Once they’re all coated you can cook or store them in fridge or freezer. Any leftover flour can be kept in the fridge or freezer for another time – you need plenty in order to coat the parsnips quickly.

    To bake, place a large solid roasting tin in a 200C/400F oven with enough groundnut oil just to cover the base and a knob of butter for flavour. Once the oil is hot, remove the tin and place over fairly low direct heat. Place the parsnips in the tin, baste them with hot fat and put in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn them over, drain off any surplus fat and continue to bake for a further 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.

  • Come and join us on Sunday

    Posted on April 2nd, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s spring planting programme continues apace.  We’re relying on volunteers to tackle a whole lot more jobs this Sunday 5 April.

    Expert grower Jane Mellowship says:

    “There’s lots of sowing to be done and more compost to put on beds. We plan to do carrots, parsnips, turnips, swiss chard and plant another bed of onion sets. Also dock leaf removal for the willing!

    “A new seed order is being prepared. It includes broccoli, fennel and sweetcorn.”

    We would love it if you could join us this Sunday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Our expert growers will be waiting for you at the site behind St Kew Harvest Farm Shop.

    Do come and help out.  You will learn what’s involved in preparing a vegetable plot, what’s on the planting schedule and also work up a good appetite for Sunday lunch.

    Please bring strong shoes or wellies, waterproofs, drinks and a snack.  And don’t forget some gardening gloves!  Also bring any tools, ideally wheelbarrows, shovels, spades, forks and rakes.

    If you would like more information or have any questions call Antonina at St Kew Harvest on 01208 841818.

    Click here for directions to the site.