A Solstice Bonfire, and peacefully sleeping pigs…

First of all, a video of the pigs asleep this morning. For no reason, other than them looking cute and peaceful!


And then some pictures of our farm Winter Solstice Bonfire from last night.

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solsticefire6

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Sauteed Cabbage and Carrots

Sauteed Cabbage Carrots

In season vegetables: Cabbage & Carrots

Another recipe tried and tested by Brian, a farm member.

Full recipe with more information and notes from the author may be found here (on food.com website).

Ingredients:

    • 1⁄2 head cabbage, finely shredded
    • 1 carrot, shredded
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1⁄2 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ginger, crushed
    • 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon white vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Method:

  1. Heat canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook until soft.
  3. Add ginger and garlic, cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  4. Add carrots, cabbage, salt and black pepper;
  5. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the vinegar and stir to combine.
  7. Remove from heat. Serve warm.

Bon appétit!

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Supermarkets – please give your food waste to our pigs!

An open letter to local supermarkets:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Wastefoodplease

I’m getting in touch on behalf of The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm on the edge of Ipswich. We are a not for profit social enterprise which offers a wide range of community, health and ecological benefits to our local members and the wider community.

We are about to lose our current supplier of (legal) waste food for our ten traditional rare breed pigs which is a big worry for us – we may have to stop keeping pigs as the cost of commercial pig food would be prohibitive for us, and we prefer to make use of food which would otherwise go to waste.

This would be a huge shame as our pigs are very popular with our members and visitors, both young and not so young, and they are a vital part of our vegetable growing operation as our “piggy plough” preparing  our vegetable beds by digging and manuring, as shown in this video:

Would you be willing to give us your waste bakery produce which is no longer fit for human consumption? We have a considerable community of supporters both locally and on social media from further afield, and we would be delighted to share the news that your organisation is forward thinking enough to work with a little, local, not for profit community ecological farm like us!

All the best,
Joanne Mudhar
Director, The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm

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Veg share box week beginning 26th October

Veg box 26_10-15

In the veg share boxes this week:-

400g carrots with tops on

600g squash

3 Brussels sprout tops

120g salad leaves

1kg potatoes

Wildcard veg: Courgettes OR Beetroot OR Swiss chard OR French beans

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Annual Guided Farm Tour 2015

Thank you to everyone who joined out annual guided farm tour yesterday, and welcome to our new members who signed up on the day! We are now inviting a strictly limited number of new members to join the farm Community Supported Agriculture Scheme for a veg share box from June 2016 for one year.

Photos from the farm tour…. and yesterday’s working party.

IMG_3837_lzn IMG_3845_lzn IMG_3850_lzn IMG_3854 IMG_3753_lzn IMG_3759_lzn Oak Tree Farm Tour 2015 IMG_3770_lzn IMG_3775_lzn IMG_3780_lzn IMG_3793_lzn IMG_3796_lzn IMG_3803_lzn IMG_3805_lzn IMG_3834_lzn

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Green Tomato Soup, by Brian

Green Tomato Soup

Green Tomato Soup

“What to do with those green tomatoes . I tried this recipe […] and thought is was very good. I added lentils to mine to make it thicker but that’s optional”, Brian

Full recipe with more information may be found here.

Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 8-10 tomatoes green and red, sliced
    • 1 onion peeled and chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
    • 750ml stock
    • 1 teaspoon dried sage/thyme/mixed herbs
    • pinch salt and pepper
    • Lentils (Optional, as per Brian’s comment)

Method:

    1. Place the sliced tomatoes in a large roasting dish
    2. Add the garlic cloves
    3. Drizzle with olive oil
    4. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper
    5. Roast at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes until tomatoes start to char
    6. Put in a saucepan with onion. Add lentils if using (optional).
    7. Add the stock and herbs and bring to the boil
    8. Add a glug of red wine, if you have some
    9. Simmer for 20 minutes
    10. Blend 2/3 of the soup and return to the pan (I like it a bit chunky)
    11. Add a little chilli sauce / cream / grated cheese – to taste

Bon appétit!

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Thank you to our Preserving Group!

Thank you to all our members who got stuck into preserving the green tomatoes and cucumbers last weekend! Debbie was Mistress of Ceremonies, ably assisted by a very capable team who made well over 100 jars of chutney and pickle to help see us all through the Hungry Gap of April/May.

Green tomatoes Pickles preserving too preserving

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What do I do with green tomatoes?

Every year our members receive a good sized bag of green tomatoes (we need to clear the polytunnels before they all ripen to make room for winter salads), and, not unreasonably, many ask, “what on earth do I do with these?”

Green tomatoes

And here is the answer… lots! Specifically:

Fried green tomatoes (by Joanne)

Riverford’s green tomato chutney recipe (as used by The Oak Tree Preserving Group)

and you can use green tomatoes as a regular ingredient in recipes such as curries and chilli – Joanne does this and she confirms that it works well!

 

 

 

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Soup with Fennel leaves (stalks and fronds)

Soup with Fennel leaves

“I was wondering what to do with the fennel leaves as I did not want them to end in our compost! I have come across this simple recipe. Very nice soup indeed and I made load to freeze in small batches! I have used all the stalks and fronds”, Nadia

Ingredients:

  • Fennel leaves (Stalk and fronds), washed and roughly cut
  • One large carrot, washed and roughly chopped
  • One large potato, washed and roughly chopped
  • One lignin, roughly chopped
  • Two garlic cloves, chopped
  • Oil, salt, pepper

Method:

  1. Put the following vegetables in a pan: fennel leaves, carrot, potato. Cover with water, add salt and pepper to taste. Start cooking.
  2. Sautee the onions and garlic in oil until soft.
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the rest of vegetables and boil for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Blend it all

The soup is ready, you may enjoy it as is or with a splash of cream.

Bon appétit!

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Fennel and Goat’s Cheese Lasagne‏, by Tom

Fennel and Goat Cheese Lasagne

 

Ingredients:

  • Several bulbs of Florence fennel (the more the better!)
  • 3oz flour, 3oz butter, 1/2 to 1 pint milk for bechamel
  • 1-2 courgettes (thinly sliced) or a small squash
  • 200g goat’s cheese, thinly sliced.
  • 8-10 sheet’s lasagne (number of sheets depends on size and shape of your dish)
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

Method:

  1. Make the bechamel sauce. Roux: 3oz flour fried in 3oz butter, then stir in milk bit by bit to creamy sauce consistency, add salt pepper and nutmeg.
  2. Sweat fennel in a bit of oil and add a small slosh of water or two if it starts to brown.
  3. If using squash instead of the courgettes, then steam or sweat a similar quantity of squash
  4. Simply layer into flat bottomed oven proofed dish. We did the following order (fennel, courgette, lasagne, bechamel, goat’s cheese, repeat till you run out) but as long as you finish at a bechamel-goat’s cheese layer to brown on top it doesn’t really matter. Season as you go to taste.
  5. Oven (180C) for about half an hour.

Enjoy with a little salad on the side!

Bon appétit!

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