Banc Organics

NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2012

The next veg bag will be on Monday 17th December.

Then the last bag of this season will be on Saturday 22nd

We can’t take specific orders for this bag, but it will include seasonal parsnips and sprouts – (unless you’ve opted not to have these).

This year, 2012, as we’ve reported before, has been a very tough year for growing vegetables. As I’m sure you’ve noticed the weather has been appalling and growers all around the country have struggled with difficult growing conditions, late crops, poor yields and pests and diseases worse than anyone can remember.

As a result we have had to cut short our season a month early. We had planned to go until the end of January but we simply do not have the produce and, with prices at the wholesalers up to 70% higher than at the same time last year, there is no way we can afford to buy in loads extra. The result of all this is that we have failed to meet our targets this year for the numbers of members. We have been supplying 26-27 full bags as opposed to the 40 we had planned.

This is about the same as we managed last year. And, with costs higher, we have been unable to pay for as much labour as we had hoped . Again we have had to rely on huge amounts of unpaid work from our small, dedicated core group.

We have, however, learnt a lot and improved our techniques and efficiency.

With our new machinery and equipment (two-wheel tractor, automatic seeder, etc.) we have been able to cultivate a lot more ground. If the growing conditions had been better we would have produced much more with the same amount of labour. Additionally, we erected our 3rd polytunnel over the past summer. This is our biggest tunnel yet and will allow us to extend our season and range of crops for next year.

We had success this year with peppers and will be growing more next year. Melons and pak choi were two successful and popular crops this year and we will be adding them to our regular list. Next year we will be trying aubergines for the first time and beginning to broaden our range of soft fruit, which will take a year or two, as it were, to bear fruit.

If you have any comments about our produce or if you would like to see more of something, then please let us know. If there are different varieties of a particular item or something we aren’t growing at all or if something has not been as good as it should be, we’d like to know – (bearing in mind the difficulties of this Season).

Or, even better, come to our shared Meal, early in the New Year and you will have an opportunity to talk with members of the core group and have an input into the future direction of Banc Organic.

We have failed to hold as many Farm Days and social events this year as we would have liked. In part, this has been due to the weather and because we have all been to stretched for time and energy to organise them.

We have two social events planned for the new year - the ‘Harvest’ meal and a Twmpath. More details will follow.

If you would like to be more involved with the group, you could consider volunteering with the growing work on Tuesday mornings or in some other capacity.

Finally ,we would like to recruit more members for next year, so spread the word.

We now deliver to several locations in the Gwendraeth valleys and Carmarthen and we’d like to start hubs in Burry Port/Pembrey, Llanelli and Ferryside. If you’d like some leaflets or membership packs, please let us know.

Martin. You can talk to me on 01269871334 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Supported by Burns Pet Nutrition, Kidwelly Burns icon

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO CANCEL YOUR STANDING ORDER - TILL NEXT YEAR !


Honey produced at our Ty’r Eithin site is available through Banc Organics.

As well as working as a grower for Banc Organics, I keep bees at Ty’r Eithin farm. My apiary is on the bank over- looking the field where a lot of our crops are grown. This honey contains nectar and pollen from wild flowers such as clover, bramble and rosebay willowherb from the farm and surrounding countryside and from some of the crops my bees help to pollinate such as the peas and beans.

Despite the poor weather this season, I managed to get a reasonable crop, so I am pleased to be able to offer honey through Banc Organics - just in time for Christmas. It comes in pound jars with nice labels. It is light coloured and mild flavoured. It has naturally set, so if you like it runny, it can be melted by warming the jar in a bowl of warm water or in a microwave.

The price is £5 for a 1 lb. jar. Please let me know if you would like some in time for the last bag delivery. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or phone 01269871334..

Pay with cheque to M. Samphire or cash either by post, to Top Meadow, Bancffosfelen, Pontyberem. SA15 5HP. You may be able to give it to the person who delivers your bag.

We appreciate your returning plastic bags and boxes to us because, of course, we want to recycle them, but we prefer to have only the bags and boxes we send to you and no others. We also need them washed. Don’t forget to send your green bags back to us.

The bonfire evening at Ty'r Eithin was a great success. The weather was far from ideal for an outdoor gathering but the hospitality indoors made up for that. We enjoyed good food and drink, good company and entertainment and look forward to the next social event on the farm.

Among the exotic treats we enjoyed was Tamiah and Stuart Duckworth, who brought it, is happy to tell us more about it and to share his recipe.

Tamiah

I first had tamiah in Sudan in 1979. It is similar to falafel. The main implement for making tamiah is an old-fashioned Spong type mincer, like the one my mum used to clamp to the kitchen table to mince meat. It takes a lot of effort to make tamiah this way, but makes it coarser textured than using a food processor. If you use a food processor you may find that the pre-cooked stuff is rather wet, I don't know how to get round that, less onion perhaps, you'll need to experiment. The pre-cooked stuff should form into balls that don't collapse.

    The quantities in the recipe

are rather large, I suggest reducing them by half unless you're catering for a lot of people.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 kilo chick-peas soaked overnight (don't use tinned chick-peas as they are pre-cooked.)
  • 1 cup old bread
  • 4 onions
  • Lots of garlic (I use one or two whole globes of garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons sesame seeds if you like.

Method:

Put soaked, strained chick-peas through the mincer.
Soak bread for 10 minutes and strain. Mince peas again with bread.
Add onion and garlic to mix and mince again.
Add salt and pepper, beaten egg and lastly the baking powder and mix well with the hands.
Get oil (preferably sesame oil) very hot in a wok.
Take a little ball of mix and roll with finger-tips, flatten slightly and drop into the hot oil.
Cook many at a time. They first sink to the bottom of the hot oil then rise to the surface. I cook them until they are light brown on the outside.
Serve with dips, curry and so on.


Happy Christmas to you all - and a healthy New Year.