Winter veg, on the farm and wassail

I came across a tweet the other day that said something along the lines of: “the big thing I’m working on right now is getting through January.” I don’t know if that rings true for you but we’re finding that this is a month where we really need to prioritise our check-ins as a team here on the farm and drink in the words of encouragement we get from you.

We hope our veggies might be a way of helping you through these darker months as you get your head into things and remind your body that it feels good to eat mindfully, move and be outdoors. May this newsletter be our friendly check-in with you.

Winter veg

For a lot of us, winter can impact our eating habits, making it more challenging to eat up our veg boxes. Reduced sunlight may make us feel less creative in the kitchen. If we’re still getting used to eating seasonally, then some of the veg grown locally at this time of year is unfamiliar. There are advantages. Eating different things at different times of year increases our range of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and food that hasn’t been shipped from another hemisphere retains so much more of its nutritional value.

Still we can know all of that and still need a plan! This can start right where you are. Maybe the beetroot from last week is still kicking about your veg drawer. That’s fine! Get it out this week and find something simple to do with it. I made beetroot and lentil soup for our packed lunches last week. And I shared it in the members’ Facebook group because I want to connect with you so we can encourage each other to make and maintain habits around eating in alignment with our earthbody cycles.

On the farm

January is a time for projects. We’re building, repairing, organising and planning. We’re doing a lot of mulching – building soil to support and invite more of the friends we work with, like worms. We’re trying to cover every bed, whether with plants in the ground, compost mulch, cardboard for rotting down or black plastic for weeds to die back. All of these methods emulate the forest floor which never exposes bare earth.

Our work at this time of year is more varied and steadier than in the harvest months. We start our days a little later and work from home where possible. It’s also a time for reflection.

Looking back, we appreciate the ways we were able to grow last year (with your help!) to feed more of our local community, increase access to landwork and better care for the land we’ve been granted guardianship of. We also see the mistakes and acknowledge that they are the source of some of our struggles. We count them as evidence that we’re stepping out and doing a thing and that this is how we learn.

Looking ahead, we ask how we can slowly and compassionately integrate those lessons in a season that reminds us all that we cycle through different ways of being human throughout the year.

Happening this month

Volunteer day – Sunday 30th January 11am to 2pm
Back by special request, we’re hosting monthly volunteer days on the last Sunday of the month for people who want to gently work together outdoors, help us grow food for the community, chat about the way we’re doing things here and share a meal. This month, we’re meeting at Soul Farm Orchard. Email info@soulfarm.co.uk to let us know if you’ll join us so we make a big enough soup and can better plan what jobs we’ll do. If you need transport, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

Wassail

A couple of weeks ago, a group of young people 12 and under wassailed the apple trees we intercrop with on our second site and the ribbons they tied are bringing us such joy! Together we sang to the trees, shouted, “Wake up!” and “Be well!”, banged pots and gave an offering of bread soaked in cyderkin.

 

Also here is a harvest and pack  video behind the scenes:

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