Our CSA members’ Annual Wild Food walk in the spring is becoming something of an institution here at The Oak Tree.
April and May are the traditional “Hungry Gap” when annual veg, the sort you normally eat, and what we grow at The Oak Tree, are scarce. By a wonderful coincidence this is just the time when wild green, perennial edible plants that grow all around us in the hedgerows, are plentiful!
If you missed the walk, here are the recipes for Nettle Soup, Hedge Garlic Soup and the Wild Leaf Salad on Joanne’s blog. The soups can be adapted for vegetarians by using veg stock and vegetable oil
Healthy Eating Starts at a young age at The Oak Tree!
The three chefs anticipating their wild food feast!
Hungry gap? What hungry gap?!
Mike wields his Alexander stalks…
Nettle and hedge garlic soup
A well earned rest for chef Lucy!
Thanks to everyone who made The Oak Tree Christmas Party such a happy event last Saturday!
The was chatting, dancing eating and drinking with a whole lot of lovely people! I can’t think of a better way of spending Saturday night
Kate and Fraser invite Steve to take on the Hot Chilli Challenge…
a studied consideration of the heat?
And Tom finds the chilli challenge bracing
A few weeks ago I announced the creating of the new not for profit social enterprise which was to run the Community Supported Agriculture scheme at The Oak Tree Farm. On Saturday 13th October CSA members gathered during a working party to celebrate the handover of the farm activities to the new organisation.
Tom signing the land lease on behalf of the new social enterprise
CSA members celebrating the handover of the farm activities to the new social enterprise
CSA member Lesley calling CSA working party members to celebrate – normally the bell means tea and coffee, but not today!
Toasting the handover of the Farm activities to our new not for profit social enterprise, the South Suffolk Low Carbon Food Community Interest Company, also known by the more familair name “The Oak Tree Farm”
Thanks to everyone who came along to The CSA Social at The Fat Cat pub, Spring Road, Ipswich, last night. A fanstastic curry made with farm veg from Kirsty and Tom, along with cakes and flapjacks! And the brave sampled a slice of Oak Tree Ham….
We invited any and all to join a tour of the farm last Saturday, and were delighted to welcome more than 30 people!
Taking a look at the vegetable beds
We invited visitors to cycle rather than drive, thank you to the many people who did so!
Tom and Joanne making tea – we’ve never had such a big tea break at the farm before!
CSA members Kate and Kirsty helped to organise the guided tour – thanks ladies!
Lesley presented her clay oven to the delight of visitors!
The clay oven Lesley has been working on over the last few months was fired up at the Harvest party and used to cook pizzas. Lesley is a talented sculptor and we are very proud of her beautiful Oak Leaf sculpture over the top of the oven.
Lesley with the oven on its first firing
Lesley has been building the oven for several weeks over the summer, letting each layer dry out, with help from many enthusiastic CSA members.
Firing the oven for the first baking!
Everyone gathers round!
Fraser checking the temperature of the oven!
The first pizza is ready!
Fraser rolling out a home made pizza using a Crabbie’s bottle as a rolling pin
Gathering round for pizzas
Thanks to everyone who made last Saturday’s Harvest Celebrations such a happy event!
Marquee and straw bales area
It was a lovely opportunity to catch up with each other, and to enjoy the fruits of our labour!
Amanda showing how to hold a chick
The chicks were a big sucess with both younger and older members!
Kirsty with prize
It was time for “The Oak Tree Awards Ceremony”! Congratulations to Kate, Fraser and Steve who cycled to the farm the most over the past six months, and to the CSA shareholders who did the most work on the farm, Kate & Fraser, Tom & Kirsty and Angela & Lesley. Thank you all for your fantastic contribution and to all members who have worked so hard and cycled with such enthusiasm
Kate and Fraser won one of the cycling prizes each!
Kate presented Joanne with a bottle of champagne – thank you!
Setting up for the party
We had a great evening sky
We had a great time at the Oak Tree summer party, with a couple of barrels of beer, a barrel of the elderflower and burdock wine made at the wild food walk earlier this year, and lots of wonderful food brought along by CSA members and other friends of the farm.
. Here are some photos from the day!
Lots of food, including a fair amount from the farm, not least eggs from our hens!
Rose partying with the new piglets!
The pigs were a big hit with everyone!
Rain was forecast for the early moring, and though there were a few mild showers in the early afternoon we found enough shelter under the marquee before venturing back out.
The table cleared for drinking later on
the end of the day just before 11 when we decided discretion was the better part of valour against the promised early morning rain
Share food and drink May social evening, early on
The first Tuesday of the month is our social evening at the Fat Cat pub, Spring Road Ipswich. The Fat Cat is a lovely friendly real ale pub that supplies plates, knives and forks in the week to its customers. We shared a lovely meal of all kinds of dishes from the fabulous Prawn Jambalaya cooked by Jon and Debbie to Joanne’s “Hungry Gap Greens” pasta, not to mention samples of roast pork from the Acorn Antic pig club.
Lots of people came along this month, which was lovely, we needed three tables at one point of the evening! As usual a few of us were there until closing time…!
Tom, Kirsty and Kate at the bar later on
We have a great turnout for the CSA public meeting on Saturday 7th April, and the last of our Community Supported Agriculture Places for a veg box from June 2012 – May 2013 were subscribed to.
Joanne telling the story of The Oak Tree CSA
Kirsty describes life as a CSA member
New CSA members Viola and Mosaic explore the polytunnels
The chickens turn shy!