July brings mixed blessings! Our ripe apricots are a celebration of summer and eating the first blackberry of the year – although that in itself stirs thoughts of autumn and reminds us that the change of season will be here soon enough.
We have produce coming out of our ears as different crops reach maturity.
Our customers will be getting used to our delicious green beans, we pick them before they get over-mature so they eat brilliantly cooked or un-cooked and are dark green with the texture of fine beans. Our boys like them raw and if you have fussy eaters they recommend dunking them in dips helps to get the kids bolting them down. For the grown-ups, we blanch them and then quickly fry with mustard seeds, garlic, green chilli and fresh curry leaves until the garlic and chilli is crispy; sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt before serving - they are a brilliant accompaniment to curry and rice.
We are super excited to be collaborating with our friend Jekka McVicar. Jekka is undoubtedly THE global authority on all things herbal – of the culinary and medicinal side. We would recommend her wonderful book, Jekka’s Complete Herb Book, if you are interested in learning from her. As a result we have created our own herb garden here at Holt Farm so we can bring you some of the varieties Jekka has nurtured over the years. We have a selection of Thymes, Rosemaries, Mints, Oreganos and Hyssop which you’ll be familiar with. But we also have some less familiar treat - Sweet Cicely to go with your rhubarb in spring or Vietnamese Coriander to add to a stir fry. Over the coming weeks the gourmet boxes will feature the range of mints, perfect for deciding which variety you prefer to make your mint tea with – we prefer the Tashkent!
Our trials of Kale, Mustard and Cime di Rapa are also looking good so each week will see a bunch of one in the gourmet box alongside the Trombocino courgettes. If you haven’t tried Trombocino they are a Slow Food certified product and have a nuttier flavour than normal courgettes, plus the seeds are all in the bulbous bit at the end so the rest of the courgette keeps it’s texture for longer when cooking.
The heirloom tomato range is beginning to ripen and we expect some varieties to make it into gourmet boxes at the end of next week before we make mixed boxes available to order on their own. Also from the tunnels you will get to try our Peruvian herb selection – Huacatay, Pepiche and Papallo.
Our Sorghum, an ancient grain, won’t be ready until autumn but the promise of both our own gluten-free flour and a new batch of our Baijiu in the stills are very exciting.
Finally change is on the cards! To allow you more choice and variety we are tweaking our box range soon so you can order some foundation boxes of salads, fruit or veg and mix it up a little. We hope it helps.