Wednesday 10 July 2013


The hot, dry weather persists this week much to our delight. However, not everyone appreciates these prolonged heat waves. It doesn't take long without rain for the furrows to appear on our farmers brows. It is always shocking to learn how quickly things can change!

Rita informs us that Roy is threatening to perform his rain dance unless some of the wet stuff falls soon. High temperatures, combined with a persistent wind have conspired to suck the moisture out of the land, leaving thirsty crops like lettuces vulnerable. We also had some sad news from Andy who lost four of his lambs to the heat. It is by no means a desperate situation yet but it is interesting to understand how quickly conditions can change in the fields and just what a tough job farmers have dealing with the unpredictability of the British weather. It makes us appreciate their lovely produce even more.

Despite the water worries, the first of Roy and Rita's courgettes are now ready. Martin from Ripple Farm thinks the organic courgettes will be ready next week as they are 'growing like mad'. We also have organic basil - definitely a plant that benefits from the heat.

Matthew's loose carrots are ready to pick (we won't have lots available so be quick) - crunchy, sweet and earthy, they are a world away from the bland, carrot look-alikes found in the supermarket. His giant garlic is all set too. This year he's grown Iberian and Purple varieties that have great longevity and beautiful, fat bulbs.
Organic tenderstem broccoli arrives from Perry Court Farm this week. It's a hybrid of broccoli and chinese kale (or kai-lan) and has a flavour and texture closer to asparagus than calabrese broccoli. And salad bags return from Cultivate London after a gap due to irrigation problems.

As we enter a quieter period over the summer months we will only be offering Bocaddon Veal every fortnight. It will be available this weekend so stock up if you're a fan of their high welfare, rose veal.

We've always struggled to get our hands on fresh wild mushrooms so we are pleased to have come across a range of dried wild mushrooms to fill the gap. We've got chanterelle, shiitake, porcini & mixed mushrooms - all hand-picked.

From Matthew Kay of Manna Cakes in Hornsey, a new producer for us,  we have organic pickles, seville marmalade and a rich plum chutney. We'll also be trying one of their cakes in the depot on Saturday so come down and give it a sticky thumbs up or down. You'll be helping us keep our waistlines in check too.

All the best,

Sam and the Farm Direct team.

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Good news for small-scale fishermanThe High Court has ruled in favour of redistributing some fishing quotas from big producers to small-scale fisherman. The judge ruled that the sea and its fish cannot be considered private property and therefore the government has the authority to redistribute quotas. This is an important precedent that will certainly please our supplier Kernowsashimi. Currently, more than 90% of the fishing quotas allocated in England and Wales are controlled by members of the UK Association of Fish Producer Organisations which mainly consists of large-scale fisherman. Small-scale, in-shore fishing fleets - such as Kernowsashimi - that are far more sustainable in terms of their impact on fish
stocks, have suffered over the years as they have not been able to negotiate control of enough of the quota to remain viable. This ruling represents an important victory for our low-impact, sustainable fishermen. All in all, excellent news.
Super Grains
Introducing a new range of exciting grains (I never thought I'd say that) that are versatile, nutritious and delicious. We have greenwheat freekah, chia seeds, peal couscous and tricolore couscous. Each offers its own nutritional benefits and make great alternatives to staples like rice and pasta. Have a look at some of the recipes on their website for inspiration.
Joint a Chicken for your BarbecueWith barbecue season in full swing it's time to prove your carving skills. Buying a whole chicken and jointing it yourself works out being far better value than buying portions. It only takes a few minutes and there is a great deal of satisfaction to be had. With a sharp knife and a little help from Delia you'll be a pro in no time!

Try one of our Sutton Hoo birds on your barbie this weekend!
Farm Direct t: 0845 519 2415
11 Ronalds Road
London, N5 1XL
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