This pasta dish has fresh spring/summer vibes. It’s one of our favourites and a great way to use up all the gorgeous greens coming out of the farm at the moment. We stock a large range of organic pastas, I like tagliatelle for this one, but of course any pasta shape will work well.
Ingredients (serves 4-5)
2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter
2 leeks, sliced and rinsed
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast (or sub with grated/crumbled cheese of your choice)
a splash of white wine
oat milk – enough to cook out the flour and make a creamy sauce
As I write, it is a beautiful evening, the sun has just emerged from behind a cloud and there is a golden bright sunset. It seems we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. It is not before time too as we fast approach the summer solstice.
Food has always brought people together. Two generations ago the act of bringing in the hay was a sociable event, square bales were loaded onto trailers, picnics or sandwiches were often had in the fields followed by a cold drink at the end of the day, chat and talk and craic was had by all.
In our continued march towards bigger more intensive agricultural systems the people have all but disappeared from the fields having been replaced by machines. This it seems is the price of progress and maybe to a certain extent it is necessary, but it makes me a little sad. Maybe it is nostalgia? As a kid having brought in that hay, I remember the sun and the sandwiches and the people. But when I think a little more, I also remember the blisters and the terrible heat and scratchiness of having to heave those bales to the very top of a galvanised hay shed, those bit’s I do not miss.
The machines on our farm facilitate the work and we do everything we can to avoid having to hand weed vegetables rows that are nearly half a kilometre in length. That job is no fun and where there is a smarter way to do something, we take it.
Finding solutions to repetitive work is a must on small-scale mixed organic vegetable farms and we do, but we still have people in the fields every day and our farm is active and alive with people, vegetables, and biodiversity.
We have been working very hard over the last six months to get the farm to the point it is at now.
Even so it seems that there are not enough hours in the day to keep up with the work. Everything has reached a crescendo and the list has been growing, what to prioritise during those rare dry days has become a source of pressure behind the eyes, we can only just keep doing the first things first.
The work always gets done the question is can we get it done in time? If we miss a sowing date, we don’t get second shot, we never regain those lost days, and the plants may struggle to reach maturity.
It’s a relatively small window and for the farm to reach it’s breakeven point and that’s all we ever hope for, we can afford to miss very few of those planting dates.
Here we are on the cusp on July and the list of produce harvested from the farm is steadily growing week on week. The first fresh bunches of beetroot, our own kale, salad, lettuce red and green, spinach and chard are ready. The cucumbers are a week away and the new potatoes 2-3 weeks away, the first of our own tomatoes are nearly there too, all we need is the sun.
Then there is the irony that as we come into our own produce as the farm finally starts to crank up a gear and we start to harvest the freshest produce we face a downturn in orders due to summer holidays and this year the impact is even greater as the country opens.
I would ask if you can at all, continue to support our farm, help get us through the summer months, we rely on your support to keep doing what we do.
So as the sun sets, there is no hay to bring in, but I look forward to a dry bright day tomorrow as we have big day of harvest before us.
This simple curry is a brilliant way to pack in all those gorgeous seasonal greens we have been harvesting at the farm recently. It works equally well with spinach, chard, kale or even spring green cabbages. It’s a regular feature on our mid-week menu at home. Gotta love a simple meal that can be thrown together from a few affordable ingredients – which is also such a flavour bomb! Tweak the spices to suit your taste.
Serve it with wholesome brown rice to make it a meal. Our bulk bags of rice come in compostable bags, why not add some to your next fruit and veg order?
Ingredients (serves 4 generously)
1 tbsp vegetable/coconut oil
1 diced white onion
4 cloves of diced garlic
3 tbsp curry powder (or use a mix of your favourite curry spices)
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
red chillies to taste, chopped
2 tins of chopped tomato
2 tins of chickpeas
salt and pepper to taste
200g or more of spinach/chard/spring greens
cooked rice, lime wedges and fresh coriander to serve.
In a large pan/pot, sauté the diced onion and garlic in the oil over a medium/high heat for about 10 minutes – or until they start to caramelise, soften and turn golden brown.
Add the fresh ginger, curry spices and chilli and stir to quickly toast them before adding any liquid.
Add the two tins of tomatoes and the drained chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and simmer together until rich and delicious.
About 5-10 minutes before serving, rinse and chop the greens then fold them into the curry. Once they are sufficiently wilted, serve in bowls with rice and lime and coriander to lift and brighten the curry.
Green smoothies are not a punishment! Mine is sweet, creamy and deliciously refreshing! Give it a try, it’s full of goodness!
🌱SPINACH is high in iron, calcium and vitamins C and K.
💪TAHINI is a great source of healthy fats, protein, B vitamins and vitamin E.
🍌BANANAS are an excellent source of potassium, B6 and energy-giving carbohydrates. They’re also a brilliant prebiotic with a high fibre content.
🌴DATES are a natural sweetener, high in fibre, antioxidants and minerals.
🌾OAT MILK is environmentally friendly, high in fibre and deliciously creamy.
Add the certified organic ingredients to your next order here. We deliver to every address in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
spinach or kale – rinsed, one large handful per person
banana – half of one per person (chopped and frozen for an extra creamy texture)
dates – pitted, 1 or 2 per person for added sweetness
tahini – 1 heaped tsp per person
oat milk (or any milk you like) – 1/2 a glass per person
optional ice – especially good if your banana is not frozen
Add all the ingredients to a strong blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into glasses and drink immediately.
TOP TIPS: *If you don’t have frozen banana, add a couple of ice cubes per person to the blender too for a chilled smoothie. *If your blender is not very strong, soak the dates before blending to help them break down faster.
It was many moons ago, in a life that was never quite meant to be, that I finally realised what it was we needed to do with my grandad’s farm.
You see 20 years ago I was very comfortable working away for the biotech industry in the UK, working in a laboratory researching different chemicals for this and that.
I am a scientist turned organic farmer and I have a very healthy respect for science. But there is one thing I do not agree with, it just does not make any sense to me, and that is the whole scale blanket application of chemicals on our food.
Chemicals that are meant for a laboratory should stay there, and if they are toxic to some life then generally speaking, they will be toxic to other life, it isn’t even that chemicals are ‘bad’ it is the prevalence and ubiquity of them in our food chain and our environment that is harmful.
They are in our food and they are not good for us, and they are not good for life in the countryside either, they really aren’t. Take a family of chemicals called the neonicotinoids, deemed safe for years, but then it was found that they do irreparable damage to bees and other insects. How, on any level, can using a chemical like that as a blanket spray across our countryside be justified?
Many of these chemicals do not just sit on the outside of the plant, they are systemic by nature. That means they are absorbed into the plant and do their damage from the inside out, so unfortunately simply washing veg and fruit doesn’t remove them.
Some produce are more heavily sprayed than others and two that regularly feature in the ‘dirty dozen’ are kale and spinach – which is ironic as both grow very well in organic systems. Eating organic of course is one of the easiest and best ways to avoid this unhealthy exposure.
It is possible to grow great food without the use of chemicals, it is a little harder, it takes a little more attention and planning, it requires more labour but isn’t it worth it in the end?
Surely the production of food in a way that contributes to our health and the health of the planet, a way that enhances and protects biodiversity, a way that encourages working with nature rather than against it must be the best way to grow food?
Thank you for taking a good hard look at how your food is produced and choosing to embrace and support organic – a healthier way of farming for us and our planet.
Have a look at our full range of organic fruit, veg and groceries here and why not consider making your life easy with a weekly fruit and veg box from us?