Veg Box Newsletter 5th October: Squash Season

The Online Veg Box Shop is Open!

The Online Veg Box Shop is open for deliveries next week!

This week’s star item is the quince. Yes, that’s right, that slightly strange relative of apples and pears. If apples and pears are the cool cousins who everyone deservedly loves, quinces are the quieter kids, harder to get to know- but so rewarding once you do. Because quinces have a unique, fragrant flavour you can’t get anywhere else. Quinces are another of those things that can be tricky to track down, and we’re very pleased to be able to offer a source for them.

What are you going to do with your quinces? They can’t be eaten raw, but must be cooked or pickled. In the heat, they’ll turn pink. Show that off in a jelly and a paste, both good on toast or to give away as gifts, which use the whole fruit when you make them together. Or include a quince in an apple-and-pear pie to have after a long cold day. You can stew quince to have on porridge at the beginning of that cold day. Make a sticky, gingery cake (with ginger from the Online Veg Box Shop), which sounds like the ideal treat with a cup of tea or a perfect thing to deliver to your pal’s doorstep. Or do what Nigel does, and roast your quinces with wine. I don’t know why I so strongly associate quinces with magic and fairytales- perhaps it’s the name. Or perhaps their subtle pink glow. In any case, they’re just the thing to make something a little extra-special.

For more quotidian needs, we have black beans and butter beans and baked beans and chickpeas. And garlic and apple juice and flowers and pasta. And toilet paper and flour- there’s no need to stock up, our supply lines are doing fine.

Remember the deadline to get your orders in is now 11pm Monday for everyone!

The photo of quince is from here, and by music4life. 

Headlines

Covid 19

Cases of Covid-19 are, sadly, on the rise in Scotland. As such we will continue to do out part to keep all our wonderful staff and customers safe. This means we’ll be continuing to practise contactless deliveries, so please keep half an ear out for your veg box on your delivery day. Remember that if you’re worried about the box being left on your doorstep, you can always leave a large plastic box for veg, milk, eggs, and whatnot to be left in to keep it sheltered and hidden. 

We’re also sorry to say we won’t be able to reintroduce our opt-out lists any time soon. We know you’re missing them- we are too. Unfortunately, they require a full staff in our packing shed, which would make socially distanced working for our packers impossible. We’re looking at ways to adapt for the future, but for the next month or two at least I’m afraid opt-out lists will still be suspended. 

All that said, it’s important to note that we don’t expect to see any issues with supply lines over the next months, so please don’t worry. We usually have boxes full to the brim with tasty local root veg and squash over the autumn and winter months, and while the pandemic may continue to have an impact on veg prices we think this is unlikely to matter much to our veg boxes. We thank you for your patience with us as we’ve learned how to deliver veg boxes through a pandemic. 

You can read about changes made to our service due to the pandemic here

In the Veg Boxes This Week

Subject to last minute changes

Check out storage guidance for helpful tips and tricks on how to prolong the life of your fresh produce. If you’re wondering where your veg comes from, have a look at these maps. You can also join your fellow subscribers over in the Facebook group for lots of tips, tricks, and recipe ideas!

To contact us, ring 0141 378 1672 or email us at subscribers@glasgowlocavore.org

Click here for Veg Box Contents

The Nice Bit

If you’ve been with us a while you might remember that October is my favourite month of the year. Well, I’m very pleased to see it swing round again. I love October for its cosiness, the scary movies and knitting of it, the hot chocolate and long walks in the fallen leaves of it. I also love it because it’s a month where we do an awful lot of thinking about pumpkins and squash. Perhaps we focus a little on the big, watery orange ones, but any squash can do the trick. And do some tricks better, like turning into soup or making a wonderful dinner. 

All you standard veg-box-getters have a crown prince squash this week. These are probably the tastiest squash of all. I’ll be tempted to keep things fairly simple with my squash- roast it or make it into soup, or most likely roast it and then turn it into soup. We have a few squash recipes on our website: a vegan, spicy, coconutty noodle soup topped with herbs and fried shallots, or a sausage and apple traybake. Either will serve as a perfect dinner depending on the day. Make ravioli for something very impressive, or a simple casserole for a staple (perfect for reheating for a WFH lunch)

In fact, if dinner is what you want (and usually it is what I want, except at lunch time), a squash is a wonderful thing to have to hand. There’ll be plenty more squash suppers before October is out, and more beyond that, but what a lovely place to begin. 

Flowers

The Locavore-grown flowers are still going, but they won’t be for that much longer, so now is the time to snap them up! They’re as gorgeous as always, full of rudbekia and sunflowers, and will brighten up your home to no end. These Glasgow-grown, bee-friendly delights are always a treat, so email now to subscribe or grab a bouquet on the Online Veg Box Shop.

Good Food Fund

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the Locavore Facebook page this week, you might have spotted this information sheet about the results of our survey exploring the impact of COVID on our customers. Tucked away within it was the detail that during the early months of lockdown we received a huge surge in customer donations to the New Initiatives Fund, which ordinarily supports activities such as Grow the Growers and the Good Food Fund, but during the Pandemic has focussed on the GFF.  Partly this was due to the increase in subscribers, but the figures indicate that generally everyone donated more – on behalf of our partner agencies, we’d like to offer heartfelt thanks for this generosity. 

The survey also found that a substantial number of our customers expressed concerns about their own financial security, and so as a result we’re cautious about asking this, but here goes… The vast majority of our customer donations come through the veg box scheme, both from the ongoing amounts added when you subscribe, and from additional donations added at the OFN orders. These donations currently support the provision of over £700 worth of produce each week to ten partner agencies around Glasgow, providing practical, tangible support to the most vulnerable members of our communities.  

We’ve always been upfront in our belief that just as our mission is to change to food system to make it more equitable, a reliance on charitable donations is far from ideal as a way of ensuring dignified food security for people – we recently added our support to this open letter to the First Minister from the group Food Workers for Food Justice calling for a review of the way this support is provided. 

The message we see from our partners is that as lockdown eases slightly, they have been able to reopen parts of their services, and demand is surging – this can be seen as part of a national trend, as seen in coverage of survey findings released by the Independent Food Aid Network this week- unfortunately many of our partners are bracing themselves for ongoing increases in demand. If there’s anything you can do to help us continue with the current level of support, we and they will be very grateful. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *