Here’s whats going on at the farm this month:
Hedge trimming is the main proirity this week, with every road boundary hedge needing to be trimmed, this promotes healthy growth and means the birds and insects will have a good cover come spring time.
We are also still pruning apple trees. Some farm prune all their fruit trees, but our main focus is the apple trees (simply because there are so many to get through!) Each year we rotate between tractor trimming, and Dad and a couple of willing helpers prune sections of trees by hand, this is usually the new trees which need more attention, but if some of the older trees need more attention, they will be given a haircut by means of a saw and some pruning shears.
Jess is constantly moving sheep from field to field in hope of greener pastures. Thankfully we have had a mild winter so far which means there is a bit more grass to be eaten than last year, however the sheep need to be moved almost every two weeks to avoid running low on food, their nutrition in the winter will heavily affect the healthiness of the lambs come spring, and hopefully we will have a few twins and triplets in the mix!
Planting of spring veggies and summer lettuces will start soon so we need to prep the fields and tunnels ready for the plants.
Why not try...
Seville Orange Marmalade
1.3kg Seville orange
2 lemons, juice only
2.6kg preserving or granulated sugar
Put the whole oranges and lemon juice in a large preserving pan and cover with 2 litres/4 pints water - if it does not cover the fruit, use a smaller pan. If necessary weight the oranges with a heat-proof plate to keep them submerged. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for around 2 hours, or until the peel can be easily pierced with a fork.
Warm half the sugar in a very low oven. Pour off the cooking water from the oranges into a jug and tip the oranges into a bowl. Return cooking liquid to the pan. Allow oranges to cool until they are easy to handle, then cut in half. Scoop out all the pips and pith and add to the reserved orange liquid in the pan. Bring to the boil for 6 minutes, then strain this liquid through a sieve into a bowl and press the pulp through with a wooden spoon - it is high in pectin so gives marmalade a good set.
Pour half this liquid into a preserving pan. Cut the peel, with a sharp knife, into fine shreds. Add half the peel to the liquid in the preserving pan with the warm sugar. Stir over a low heat until all the sugar has dissolved, for about 10 minutes, then bring to the boil and bubble rapidly for 15- 25 minutes until setting point is reached.
Take pan off the heat and skim any scum from the surface. Leave the marmalade to stand in the pan for 20 minutes to cool a little and allow the peel to settle; then pot in sterilised jars, seal and label. Repeat from step 3
Recipe from BBC Good Food
A quick note
We are trialling a few things this month, including various delivery days. If you would like an alternative delivery day, just let us know. We are structuring subscriptions on the basis of a delivery two days after the charge day, but if you want, just email us and we will move you to a different day.
This is a JANUARY TRIAL and after January we will assess if it is worth continuing or not.
Whats in your boxes?
Lettuce Varieties - mixed leaves
Pears - Doyuenne Du Comice (great for puddings!), Conference and Concorde
Want to try something fun this week? What about making your own marmalade. I am very jam making challenged, but marmalade is a much simpler recipe due to the natural amounts of pectin in the fruit. We have added seville oranges to our website so you can order them for delivery through January.