BANC ORGANICS NEWSLETTER

October 2010

Vegetable basket

Autumn is upon us and the produce from the garden is changing with the season. Courgettes and beans have come to an end, and we are starting to harvest leeks, squashes and parsnips. The frantic picking and weeding of the summer is nearly over, leaving time to sort out the other jobs and plan for the future.

We have been sowing green manures to build in fertility in the soil and have obtained a large quantity of manure which we will let rot down, to use to improve the soil over the next couple of seasons. Most excitingly of all we have put up a polytunnel . This will radically change what we can grow next year, things such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and basil all become possible. We will also be able to grow salad and other crops over a much longer season, and as a result will be able to offer more varied boxes over a greater part of the year.

On a less positive note we have been having serious problems with peacocks eating our crops in the last few weeks and have lost a lot of our winter greens. We have netted most of the vulnerable crops now but this is something we will have to deal with before the new growing season as they will devastate young seedlings.

You may have also noticed that we have been having a few problems with our stored onions, garlic and potatoes, and we are looking at buying in some extra produce in the next week or two to make up for this.

We hope you can come to our harvest celebration meal, this Sunday 17th October in Bancffosfelen hall. The idea is for everyone to bring something to share (a main dish, a salad, a cake or pudding or whatever you like). We will organise some music and games and activities for the children, and would also like to take the opportunity to talk with you about what you think of what we are doing and how we should develop. Having just started this year we very much need your input to work out what to do in the future.

This month we thought recipe ideas for what to do with the squashes would be a good idea. We have grown five different types from almost endless range of shapes, sizes, colour and flavour. If the recipe below doesn’t take your fancy, try baking one whole or cutting it up into chunks and roasting them with your other roast veg to have with roast dinner. Don’t forget pumpkin (or squash) pie too – we don’t have room for a recipe here, but there are some good ones on the internet – try www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes - there is a good recipe there. Undamaged, pumpkins will store for several months.

PUMPKIN SOUP

  • 450g (1lb) pumpkin or squash, peeled and diced
  • 900ml (1 ½ pints) milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) single cream
  • 4 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted (optional)

Put the diced pumpkin into a saucepan, add milk, salt and nutmeg to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. When it is tender, pour into a blender and process until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan, stir in the cream, taste and adjust seasoning. Reheat and serve, sprinkled with the toasted almonds.