Veg Box Newsletter 12th October: Scottish Apples

The Online Veg Box Shop is Open!

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

This week, girolles are back! And, to boot, we’ve got yellow-leg chanterelles, pictured above. These are a cold-weather variation on their paler siblings, and just as tasty. Foraged mushrooms can be difficult to predict, for obvious reasons, so snap them up now. 

We also have quinces again this weekend, so if you missed out last week this is your chance! There are lots of ideas for them in last week’s newsletter, or I’ll be posting some of my own quince adventures on our Instagram this weekend for more quince content (quontent?). 

As always, we have your beans, your flour, your nut butters, your ginger, your garlic, your- well, mostly anything you need to keep your veg box company.

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

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

Egg Boxes

Unfortunately, I’m afraid we’re still unable to accept returned egg boxes at the moment, due to our no longer packing down our own eggs. This allows us to supply far more eggs while staying covid-safe, but does mean you’ll need to compost, recycle, or reuse your egg boxes. They’re great for all sorts of crafts, so I’m sure you’ll find a great second life for them.

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

I’m so excited about apples this week, because we’ve got a new supplier, and- it’s Scottish! Aside from the brambley berries to pick on walks, we don’t get so much fruit this far north, and while we love our Scottish veg, there’s something about apples from nearby that are especially special. These apples come from Falkland Estate in Fife, which has beautiful woodlands for walking in, and a cafe, and all sorts of incredibly cool events and projects. I highly recommend a click around their website or facebook page– and perhaps a walk around the grounds, too. 

And then, when you get home, what about an appley dessert made with apples from their orchard? The orchard is run by Falkland Rural Enterprise Limited, along with the rest of their organic farm which features lambs and cows as well as trees. Their orchard was planted in 2012, and includes four varieties: Discovery, Red Windsor,  Rajka, and James Grieve for tastiness right through the season.  

And then, when you get home, what about an appley dessert made with apples from their orchard? The orchard is run by Falkland Rural Enterprise Limited, along with the rest of their organic farm which features lambs and cows as well as trees. Their orchard was planted in 2012, and includes four varieties: Discovery, Red Windsor,  Rajka, and James Grieve for tastiness right through the season.  

We talked about apples not long ago, but as we sink deeper into the cosy feather bed of autumn, the nights drawing in around us like a blanket, I find myself wanting apple desserts more and more. And so do my colleagues- all us veg box admins wound up deep in a chat about apple desserts on the veg box slack channel the other day, and came up with a pretty extensive and delicious list of options: 
toffee apples
apple butter
apple pie
apple turnovers
apple strudel
apppeltaart
apple crumble 
apple cake
stewed apples
apple sauce
apple compote
apple bread pudding
tart tatin
apple cobbler

Goodness gracious! I’m sure that’s not exhaustive, either. What have we missed? And can any elaboration be better than a baked apple and custard? I’m not sure, but I know I’m excited for these Scottish apples, which I’ll munch raw and cook in all kinds of ways. We’ll have apples more or less every week for the whole long season, which is joyous, but might get repetitive- except that these modest fruits can show themselves to be as versatile as any other, and a treat well-suited to the cold, crisp months. 

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. 

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