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  • More radishes and plenty of chard in the veg boxes

    Posted on April 2nd, 2015 charlotte No comments

    Everyone is getting extra shares of chard and spinach at the moment as we experience a glut of this delicious and versatile green vegetable. The increased warmth and light is bringing on other over-wintered crops like mixed salad leaves and parsley as well as the early sowings of radishes and spring onions.

    radishes-camel csa-0315In all the boxes this week:

    * radishes
    * Swiss chard
    * turnips
    white or purple sprouting broccoli
    (Restharrow Farm, Trebetherick)
    leeks (Restharrow)
    cauliflower (Restharrow)
    potatoes 'Wilja'(Burlerrow Farm, St Mabyn)

    Standard boxes also have:

    extra potatoes
    * parsley
    * mixed salad bag
    red cabbage (Restharrow)

    chard-camel csa-0315* = grown to organic principles. All produce grown by Camel CSA unless otherwise stated

    Please ensure you wash all vegetables carefully

    This week’s recommended recipes from our website archive:

    Maharashtrian radish salad    
    Warm halloumi with radish, apple and pecan salad
  • Seasonal local food recipe No.239 – Swiss chard and onion tart

    Posted on August 24th, 2014 Janet No comments

    I made this for tea on Friday – it has to be said that swiss chard is not one of my husband’s favourite vegetables but after he had polished off a second helping he said I could make it again!  I cheated and used ready-made and ready rolled pastry!  It is from the Riverford Farm cook book.

    Serves: 4swiss chard-camel csa

    Preparation time: 45 minutes
    Cooking time: 15 minutes

    300g shortcrust pastry
    50g butter
    3 small onions, finely sliced
    leaves from 1 sprig of thyme
    300g swiss chard
    10 olives, chopped
    3-4 tbs creme fraiche
    1/2 tbs freshly grated parmesan cheese
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and place on a baking sheet, prick with a fork in several places and chill for 15 minutes (it doesn’t need to be a uniform shape).  Place in a pre-heated oven 200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.  Once the pastry is rolled out you can start to prepare the topping.  Heat the butter in a pan, add the onions and thyme and cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft but not coloured.  Meanwhile, separate the chard stalks from the leaves and chop both leaves and stalks roughly, keeping them separate.  Add the stalks to a pan of boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender.  Remove the stalks with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Add the leaves to the boiling water and blanch briefly.  drain well, refresh under a cold tap and then squeeze to remove as much water as possible.  ( I actually cooked the chard stalks with the onions and wilted the leaves in the microwave.)  Add the chard stalks and leaves to the onions and reheat gently.  Season to taste and mix well.  Spread the mixture over the pastry base and sprinkle with the chopped olives, parmesan and a few blobs of creme fraiche.  Bake in the oven 190°C/gasmark 5 for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No 159: Hugh’s chardy cheese

    Posted on August 29th, 2012 charlotte No comments

    One vegetable that thrives during a wet English summer is Swiss chard. Camel CSA has a huge bed of it in rainbow colours and the picking usually involves us in a big team effort.

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says: “This hearty dish gives chard the cauliflower cheese treatment. It makes a side dish to chops or sausages, but I’d happily eat it as a main course with a hunk of bread.”

    Serves: 4

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 40 minutes

    About 750g chard
    Small knob of butter
    About 50g breadcrumbs
    A little rapeseed or olive oil
    Sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper

    For the sauce:
    300ml whole milk
    ½ onion, peeled and cut in two
    1 bay leaf
    A few black peppercorns
    20g unsalted butter
    20g plain flour
    75g strong, mature cheddar, grated
    25g parmesan or vegetarian alternative
    (or mature hard goat’s cheese, grated)
    ¼ tsp English mustard

    Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5 and lightly grease a shallow, ovenproof dish.

    For the sauce, put the milk into a saucepan with the onion, bay and peppercorns. Bring to just below simmering point, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes, and an hour or two, ideally.

    Meanwhile, separate the chard leaves from the stalks, and cut the stalks into 1.5cm slices. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, drop in the leaves and blanch for a minute or two, until just wilted. Remove the leaves with tongs, drain and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water with your hands, then roughly chop. Meanwhile, drop the chopped stalks into the boiling water and blanch for three to four minutes, until just tender. Drain, toss with a knob of butter, season and spread over the base of the oven dish.

    If the infused milk has cooled completely, warm it gently, then strain into a jug. Melt the butter for the sauce in a medium saucepan over a fairly low heat, then stir in the flour to form a smooth paste (a roux). Cook gently, stirring frequently, for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and add a third of the milk. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or whisk until you have a thick, smooth paste. Add the rest of the milk in one or two lots, stirring it in until smooth.

    Return the sauce to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring. Let it bubble for two minutes, stirring every now and then, to “cook out” any taste of raw flour, then turn the heat right down. Add the cheeses and mustard, stir gently until they melt into the sauce – don’t let the sauce boil, or it may curdle – and season.

    Stir the chopped chard leaves into the hot cheese sauce and pour over the stalks in the dish. Scatter with the breadcrumbs and a trickle of oil, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

  • It’s time to… sow fennel and Swiss chard

    Posted on April 14th, 2012 charlotte No comments

    Camel CSA’s hard-working secretary Mike Sadler loves fennel, so we’re sowing a whole 120-module tray of it especially for him. The seedlings will be planted outdoors later on our plot.

    Other jobs for the growing team this Sunday morning include sowing more cabbage, chard and perpetual spinach (leaf beet) into modules. We’ll also be planting rocket in the polytunnel to add variety to our salad bags.

    There’s parsnip seeds to sow straight into the ground as well as more onion beds to prepare and onion sets to plant.

    See you there!

  • Seasonal recipe No 54: Chicken and Swiss chard melt

    Posted on July 25th, 2010 Trish No comments

    A recipe from Allegra McEvedy, who says: “The best thing about this simple supper is the chard … You can use it anywhere you might use wholeleaf spinach, but you will get a more boldly textured result. Chard is even better for you than spinach, too – it just never had the PR muscle of Popeye behind it. It contains less oxalic acid than spinach, which means that we are able to absorb more of its nutrients.”

    Apologies to CSA members with small veg boxes who had perpetual spinach rather than Swiss chard this week! Still good for you, though.

    Apparently, the Swiss prefix came about in the 19th-century to distinguish it from French chard, which we now call cardoon.

    Serves 2

    Preparation/Cooking: 30 minutes

    150g brown rice
    250g Swiss chard (big whole leaf spinach will do)
    1 lemon
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    extra virgin olive oil
    2 free-range chicken breasts
    150g ball of mozzarella
    1 ripe tomato
    big pinch dried oregano
    salt and pepper

    Rinse the rice in cold water, then tip into a saucepan with twice the volume of cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently until cooked – about half an hour.

    Meanwhile, put a second pan on with salted water for blanching the chard.

    Trim and chuck away the very ends of the chard stalks, then cut the stalks away from the leaves. Slice the stalks into 2cm-thick pieces and leave the leaves whole. Blanch the stalks first for about three minutes, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, cool under running water and set aside. Now blanch the leaves for three minutes, rinse under cold water and set aside separately from the stalks.

    Zest the lemon and put it with the chard stalks.

    In a bowl, mix the garlic with the juice of half the lemon, a couple of tbsp of the olive oil and some seasoning. Squeeze the water out of the chard leaves and coat them thoroughly in the flavoured oil.

    Oil a baking tray and pre-heat under a very hot grill. Make a cut down the length of the chicken breasts, but not all the way through so that they open up like a book (this is called butterflying for obvious reasons).

    Season the meat, then lay on the dressed chard leaves. Top with slices of mozzarella and tomato, and finish with a little salt and the oregano.

    Grill for 10-12 minutes. When the rice is cooked, stir in the chard stalks, some salt and a good splosh of olive oil and serve with the chicken on top.

  • Seasonal recipe No 4 – Swiss chard and potato gratin

    Posted on July 25th, 2009 Trish 2 comments

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Our veg boxes are tops!

    Posted on July 5th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    We’ve had an enthusiastic response from our members to Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s first vegetable boxes.  This is despite some teething problems with distribution.

    Tony says:

    Our first standard veg box

    Our first standard veg box

    “The box looks fantastic! We’re looking forward to next week’s already.”

    John and Cathy are delighted with the quality:

    “The cucumber which was sweet and fresh and the lettuce and onion we used in a salad.”

    They like the wide and interesting variety of vegetables and have found new ways of using them:

     “The beet greens we cooked almost like a spinach or spring greens and had with fish – better than spinach – along with broad beans and potatoes.


    The beets will be roasted and eaten with a lamb casserole with the rest of the onion, turnips and courgettes and we will try your broad bean soup.  Nothing wasted.”

    In the end, both small and standard boxes contained potatoes, broad beans, beetroot, turnip, cucumber and onions.  Standard boxes had a salad pack and small boxes a lollo rosso lettuce.  In addition, standard boxes contained Swiss chard and courgettes.  There wasn’t enough time to pick parsley.

    We have a glut of broad beans, so each box was given an extra £4-worth at shop prices!  We don’t yet have our own poly tunnel, so our three expert growers – Jane, Jeremy and Mark – supplied the salad bags, lettuce, courgettes and cucumber.

    New team

    Camel CSA 03-07-09Grateful thanks to our volunteer picking and packing team of expert grower Mark Norman, Mike H, Penny, Robert and Trish.  Mark says:

    ” It’s great to see some new faces.  I hope the boxes going out means that we’ll see even more volunteers next week.


    As first boxes they are excellent.  I hope we can keep the variety going.”

    If you would like to volunteer, either picking and packing or planting and cultivating, just turn up on a Friday or Sunday between 10 a.m. and 12 noon.

    Compost bin

    This Sunday we constructed a compost bin from wooden pallets lashed together with binder twine.  At long last we have somewhere to dump the annual weeds, unwanted plant tops and thinnings.

    Camel CSA 05-07-09A great deal of effort was devoted to the backbreaking job of cutting down the remaining dock leaves to stop them going to seed and spreading all over the site.  We were grateful there were so many of us to share this potentially soul-destroying task!

    We weeded the Swiss chard, carrots and brussels sprouts.  We planted more radishes to replace the ones which had gone to seed in the hot weather.

    A big thank you to expert growers Jane and Mark N and Charlotte, Danny, Ian, Mark M, Mike H, Mike S.

  • They deserve a medal!

    Posted on May 26th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    We’re having an extra mid-week volunteer session on Thursday as there’s so much work to do at Camel Community Supported Agriculture.  Charlotte, Kitty and Mike S have already put their names forward.

    carrotsWe need to plant out brassicas, celeriac, parsley and spring onion plants and, if we have time, sow sweetcorn and squash seeds.

    If you’re able to give a hand, we’ll be on the site this Thursday 28 May between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Click here for directions. 

    If you can’t make it on Thursday morning, why not give expert grower Jeremy Brown a ring on 07971762227 to find out when else it might be convenient to help out.

    Medals all round

    Last Sunday’s team deserves special praise.  Everyone got down on their knees and hand weeded. 

    weeding-carrotsThe onion, shallot and Swiss chard beds were comparatively easy to tackle, but weeding the carrots by hand was an exacting and extremely fiddly job. The air was blue at times.  We’ll savour every single one of those carrots when they appear in our weekly vegetable boxes!

    Grateful thanks to volunteer expert growers Jane, Jeremy and Mark and to their willing helpers – Beverley, Cath, Carolyn, Charlotte, John, Kitty, Mike H and Mike S.

    There’s so much effort going into preparing the first vegetable shares, which should start to be available in mid-June.  A lot of thought is being given to when and how they will be picked, packed and distributed.  

    We’ll be working on the site as usual next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.   Do come along and enjoy the fresh air and exercise.  It’s not all hard work.  It’s good company – and fun too.

  • Mid-week volunteering

    Posted on May 12th, 2009 charlotte No comments

    Members are more than welcome to volunteer to work during the week – not just on Sunday mornings.

    Give expert grower Jeremy Brown a ring on 07971762227 to find out when it might be convenient to help out on Camel Community Supported Agriculture’s vegetable beds.  Weather permitting, of course!

    He’s there every day as a member of the farming family who own the land and who have generously offered it rent-free to Camel CSA for the first few months.  He grows his own vegetables on the adjoining plot to sell at St Kew Harvest Farm Shop.

    Jeremy can arrange to meet you on the site and explain what jobs need to be done.   These might include sowing seeds in the potting shed, spreading compost on new beds and weeding around our emerging crops.

    pea-plantLast Sunday we got several new beds raked, fresh compost spread and more seeds sown, including an extra row of peas and some more radishes.  We planted out beetroot and chard seedlings and hoed up weeds in the pea, onion and shallot beds. 

    The devastation to the first rows of peas that had to be replaced was caused by the pea and bean weevil, not slugs.  Apologies all round.  Either the resident pheasant or a partridge has been having a go at the spring onions, but the damage is not lasting.

    A big thank you to Sunday’s energetic crew – volunteer expert growers Jane, Jeremy B and Mark N and volunteer members Carolyn, Charlotte, Diana, Kitty, Mike H and Mike S.

    We had a useful discussion during the tea break about the kind of activities we want to organise for the Open Day on Sunday 7 June – Open Farm Sunday.  Any suggestions welcome. 

    Click here to view our entry on the Open Farm Sunday website.

  • 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.