Summer to Autumn

Yesterday after a visit to paddle a bit in the sea at Whitepark Bay I called into Culmore Organic farm in Kilrea to check on the many veg growing there. This farm has light soil compared to our clay so on David the farmer's invitation we are doing a trial plot. Parsnips, swedes, beetroot, brussel sprouts, savoys and january king cabbage galore. We had a machinery hiccup at the beginning so weed control is not as good as in Helens Bay but I have acquired another mechanical weeder for up there so next year will be better. The crops look great however and I have so enjoyed working with a light soil again after so many years. We have now moved on to the potatoes grown there as the Helens Bay earlies are finished. .

You will be getting broad beans again this week, the last of the late crop. Salads are good for another few weeks as are tomato but soon we will move onto some of the Autumn /Winter veg. Leeks look particularly good and will get their final hoeing next week. We will start harvesting them soon.

I am chopping up all the green manures and empty spaces with a disc harrow so winter grasses can be sown asap. It marks the end of the Summer and the beginning of Autumn.

This week you will also be getting some Italian black kale which grows very well here. One way I like it is gently simmered for a few minutes, strained and mixed into mashed potatoes, put into a baking tray with some grated cheese on top and baked until cheese browns. Mmmm a great way to get greens into the kids. I guess it’s a sort of simple bubble and squeak.

I have also chopped it up very fine and marinated it raw with balsamic vinegar and served it with cheese and our tomatoes at my book club. Enjoy.

 

John McCormick

Painted Windows

What do you think of those painted shop windows we have in several North Coast towns now? The pictures of butchers, greengrocers and other main street shops now gone, leaving behind deteriorating buildings.

I've changed my mind recently about them, in fact I've gone through a few different opinions since they first went up.

I started indignant, embarrassed to live in a town with fake shops. Why put them up - it was like an admission of failure to me. It was also easy to get angry at those property owners who are letting our main streets fall to bits - surely there is a responsibility to maintain such public places in a pleasant state? It's part of the environment we all share, and should want to take pride in? Why should the council have to do it?

But then I began to look in the windows. Were there really all these different businesses here, a thriving community? Even a cobbler?! People trading with people locally so that skills and wealth develop. Somehow from these thoughts the painted windows have become a little symbol of hope, a vision of what could happen again.

We live in a beautiful place, but it is on the edge of whatever political ideal you aspire to - the island, the UK or the EU! As such the natural flow of wealth is towards the centre of these places, where large organisations tend to be based. Money spent in national/international organisations makes profit which goes somewhere else to create wealth there. I'm not against these companies, they are successful because they provide stuff we want when we want it. But is it not our responsibility to consider the effect on our communities? It is us who have to live here.

And so I can have an impact if I try to shop locally. If I buy bread from Ursa Minor, and others do too, then Ballycastle gets a bakery. We are all on the way to eating our way into having a local veg grower - who knows he could get a shop eventually. Our vision is that other people might find careers they enjoy, and which enrich our communities. Here is a good place to mention we already need someone to get into organic egg production, there is an opportunity there, if interested please get in touch. We should hope these entrepreneurs will make money - because they will inevitably spend it where they live, so increasing wealth and stimulating growth in a positive cycle.

So I enjoy passing the windows now, they make me smile. Who knows, we might even once again get a cobbler.. 

Some Juicy News...

Some Juicy News...

We are excited to annouce that we are now offering the Luscombe Organic range of drinks.  Available both as still and sparkling fruit juices, these award winning drinks are packed with flavour and goodness.  We love them and we think you will too!

Online Store Up and Running...

Our online product store for placing orders is up and running.  We use Bucky Box to organise our orders.  It is a specialised online platform for local food delivery services just like ours! 

New website up and running!

New website up and running!

Keep an eye out for our new website updates and online ordering store that will be up and running in full in the near future. In the meantime if you want to know more or place an order make contact via our contact page. Follow us on twitter.