Veg Box Newsletter 19th October: Brassica Oleracea

The Online Veg Box Shop is Open!

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

We have the yellow-leg chanterelles again this week, and garlic, ginger, and chillies; and what’s more, we have giant bags of mini cucumbers from our farm, which are absolutely perfect for pickling. I’ll have to admit that I’ve never made pickles before, but a quick look at the recipes tells me I’ve been missing out.

Bread-and-butter pickles (which feature neither of those as ingredients) sound addictive, dill pickles with coriander seeds and cloves sound versatile and delicious, and garlic pickles are probably going to be involved in every WFH lunch I have for the next month. If you’re a fan of pickles, this is a brilliant oppertunity to stock up. And if, like me, you’re a bit of a pickle novice, perhaps giving it a try would make a good weekend project? (please note, the cucumbers pictured are from earlier in the season, and those sold now are likely to be smaller).

We also have all our usual goodies, plus a few new things like smooth peanut butter and chocolates to supplement your veg boxes.

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.

Flowers and Wreaths

Flowers are now done for the season, but we’ll have handmade wreaths from our florist from November. What a lovely thing to look forward to, as the year turns around. 

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

Did you know that cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kholrabi and kale are all one species? They’re all cultivars of brassica oleracea, which started out as wild cabbage- edible, but perhaps not as tasty as what thousands of years of cultivation have made it. Preference for leaves, stems, flowers led to kale and cabbage, kohl rabi, and broccoli respectively. 

I mention this not only because it’s just about the most fun fact I know, and utterly fascinating- go take a deep dive in the wikpedia page for more- but also because we have a fair few brassicas in our veg boxes this week. Really a fair few: there’s cabbage in the boxes and in the supplementaries, there’s broccoli, there’s kale, there’s kohl rabi. Part of this is our recovering after some of our plans for other veg fell through due to a poor harvest, and part of this is because we want to celebrate the fact that it’s a wonderful time for brassicas. 

One very convenient thing about all these vegetables being one species is now I have a sneaky way out of answering the question. “what’s your favourite vegetable?”. I’ve never been able to choose between broccoli and brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower- and now I don’t have to.

I’ve shared one of my favourite kale recipes on the website before, and one very tasty one for broccoli as well. We’ve rounded up kale recipes once in February here, and then more recently here, so I’ll let those posts speak for my love of kale. Back in March- I suggest scrolling past all the news at the top and going straight to the nice bit- I wrote about cabbage as a diverse and vital ingredient, and my passion for it has only increased since. What a wonderful vegetable. If I’m not sauteeing it into buttery ribbons, I’m roasting it in salted, seasoned wedges to bring out all its surprisingly varied flavours. Or maybe I’m stirring it through orzo, with pork belly, or topped with smoked cheese. I’ve not yet make holishkes but I intend to, soon. Goodness- there might not be any left after all that, but if there is, there’s always sauerkraut.

Kohlrabi might be thought of a less-lovable cousin, but that’s only unfamiliarity talking. Once you’ve had it sliced into thick slabs and roasted with salt and olive oil until all caramelised, you’ll be on board with this brassica, and ready to experiment with otherrecipes that make the most of this surprising, and surprisingly tasty, vegetable.

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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