Monday, July 29, 2013

More flowers anyone?

Another successful day at market, where the Barba di Frate flew off the metaphorical shelves and the flowers continued to prove popular - people seem more and more interested by our fresh, local and polytunnel-free/spray-free approach.

The majority of the garlic is now up, bunched and hanging to dry in the barn - multiple varieties available this year including some French (Peyrasse), some Spanish (Vallelado) and even a bit of Greek (Limni).

When a moment is free, we attack the weeds by hand, giving the carrots, onions, brassicas etc. the chance to breathe and grow.

Elsewhere, a positive first meeting with Fees Flowers who sell gorgeous British blooms every Friday at Exeter's main train station, St Davids - our produce could be on her stall soon. Also, a new partnership is blossoming with the deli 'Johns of Instow & Appledore' (look out for our van as we pass by...)

The days fly by...where does the time go!?

George (P.S. back hurts, knees hurt, hands hurt...)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summertime at Radley Cross

My nephew has joined us for July/August! Over the next few weeks, he'll be giving his impressions of the organised chaos at Radley Cross Market Garden. Ant.

Arriving at Radley Cross just a week ago, I had told various people that my uncle 'grew garlic and a few flowers'. Transpires that, across his 5 acres, he grows substantially more than that (as well as an impressive array of weeds - "no pesticides or fungicides here" he tells me). We head up to the top field for an hour or two of picking most mornings - beautiful courgette follows beautiful courgette (green and yellow, see image below), the beetroot (red and golden) grows bigger and better, the Swiss chard becomes more popular by the day...and then there's the garlic! Two rows (roughly 2500 bulbs) harvested yesterday and strung up to dry today - meanwhile, those bulbs that have almost dried are ready to sell and will last you until early next year.

Down below the farmhouse (see image below) the larkspur and cornflowers, having thrived in the open air and wowed the public across North Devon, are sadly coming to an end. The clarkia and statice however have come to life and make you a beautiful bouquet, while the first sunflowers have started to show their faces. The weather has been hot and dry, so the fields had a welcome drink last night as the rain briefly returned.

We tour various local and farm shops selling our wares, looking forward particularly to the market in South Molton every Saturday morning where you can find us outside opposite the entrance to the market, braving the elements and selling  the freshest vegetables and flowers, all hand-picked just hours earlier.
Current hot favourite : Barba di Frate or Monksbeard, a unique Italian vegetable, very rare in the UK but grown from seed in the fields at Radley Cross. A mild-flavoured slightly bitter green, it is particularly good with seafood or simply braised with olive oil and garlic and served as a side dish. See you soon! George.