Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mooli / daikon pickle recipe

Quick takuan pickle recipe
This has been copied straight from an article entitled “Marvellous mooli, delicious daikon” in “The Organic Grower” magazine of winter 2018 (issue 45). We’ve not tried it yet but will do this week…*


500g daikon radish
1 tablespoon salt
100g sugar
100ml water
100ml rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sake (optional)


Peel and slice the daikon into 5mm thick pieces.
Sprinkle with salt and leave for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, mix the sugar, water, vinegar and sake in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Stir till the sugar dissolves then remove from the heat.
Rinse the sliced daikon and drain well.
Put the daikon in a jar then add the liquid mixture and screw up the lid.
Leave the pickle for 2 days to develop its full flavour (if you can wait that long).

*I can report that this is very good, but if I was to make it again I would use more vinegar and less sugar (but this is a presonal preference).

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sowing seeds

A new year, and a new growing season beckons. We don't get much of a winter break here at the end of Cornwall! So on the first Saturday of January we powered up the hot bed and sowed our sweet pepper, chilli pepper, and aubergines crops. This year we dug out the heating cable, cleaned it off (which involved scrubbing off encrustations of sand using sandpaper), and relaid it, which took a few hours, but the bed is working better than for the past couple of seasons, so it must have paid off.
Seed trays in the hot bed, inside clear plastic bags to deter mice and retain moisture.
We've also sown a lot of seeds which will germinate in the polytunnel without needing additional heat - mange-tout and sugar snap peas, various salads, spring greens, herb fennel, headed lettuces, pak choi and Chinese cabbage.
Sowing seeds in the propagation tunnel - Noemie, Ole, Adrien and Ben.

New raised beds

Last spring we dug seven permanent raised beds in the market garden, and such was the quality and value of the crops they produced (amazing black Tuscan kale, excellent broad beans, some big pumpkins, but disastrous onion transplants which dried out due to the lowered water table - a lesson learnt) that we have just finished creating another nine, which is all that we can fit into the space available. With a good group of both local and WWOOF volunteers this took us one week exactly, using all our spare time.
Number 6 under way, with Marie, Ailsa, Ole and Robert.

Marie, Sue, Ben, Ole and Robert.

Digging the ninth and final bed - Clara, Adrien and Ole.

Lots of planting to be done this spring!
We emptied one of our own compost bays into the beds (buried between layers of soil), as well as a pile of horse manure from a nearby field. Now we have to produce the plants to go into them - cut and come again salad leaves, globe artichokes (sown today), black Tuscan kale and other kales, spring greens, summer cabbages, broad beans, headed lettuces, possibly early courgettes.....

Many thanks as always to our volunteers who dug on most days of a week to get this done - many of them appear in the photos above, but some don't - big thanks to all.

Friday, January 11, 2019

veg boxes 11th January 2019

Our second batch of veg boxes of the new year....
Today was mooli day (or daikon day if you prefer the Japanese name to the Hindi), with every veg box - except those specifying no radishes - getting half a kilo of this delicious Asian root veg, plus a recipe in their email newsletter to give one idea of what to do with it.

Small veg box (£6) - mooli, Ambo potatoes, a lettuce, leeks, komatsuna greens (Chinese spinach), and sprigs of Vietnamese coriander.

Standard veg box (£10) - as above with added rainbow chard, beetroot, purple-top turnips, and a cabbage.

All grown by us on the community farm except the potatoes, which are certified organic from nearby St. Hilary.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Veg boxes 28th December

A standard veg box with a dozen free-range eggs (£14.20 including delivery) - half a crown prince squash, a savoy cabbage, leeks, a bunch of carrots, a kilo of potatoes, oriental greens, beetroot, and rocket.
The small box (£7 including delivery) - leeks, beetroot, potatoes, chervil, oriental greens, and carrots.

Yerin and Seoyoung

Also for most of December we had the assistance of two lovely wwoofers from South Korea, Yerin and Seoyoung, who have now headed to Barcelona for a well-earned break. Many thanks to them too!
Yerin and Seoyoung picking kale in the old chicken field.

Brice and Gurvan

Brice and Gurvan, two French wwoof volunteers from Quimper in Brittany, helped on the farm for most of December, leaving just after Christmas for further UK adventures. Many thanks to this loveable pair for keeping us entertained - and all the good work too.
Wwoof volunteers outside the farm shop on Winter Feast day, from left - Yerin, Gurvan, Brice, and Lena.

Brice painting the shop floor on Boxing Day.