Thursday, 19 June 2014

This week's box

Along with the usual basics you will have tomatoes, cucumber, courgette, beans and lettuce.

Apologies if you had some duff potatoes last week. Do let us know so we can give you extra to make up. Our own are nearly there. This part of the country is one of the latest for new spuds due to its distance from the warming effect of the sea on the land.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Beautiful carrots

Every now and again, I get involved in looking at the bigger picture of what we do here at North Aston.  In pursuit of that, yesterday I went to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology in the Houses of Parliament to hear some eminent people discussing why our economic system makes it more profitable to produce food in ways that damage the environment and our health, instead of rewarding methods of production that deliver benefits.  The original question, unsurprisingly, answered by one and all, was that the economic system was driven by very limited criteria that didn't take into account the true costs of current practices.

The discussion then was that in order to truly reflect the real costs one must quantify (make visible and accountable) all the externalities (the consequences) good and bad of different food production methods so that decision making on support and funding can be well-grounded.  One then must find a way of putting a value on health, well-being, environment, etc. no idea how one does that but there are clever people out there already on the case and 'modelling' seems to be an exciting and happening kind of research tool which can handle these complex issues.  (In my day I think they called it 'statistics' but this is much cleverer!)

That's good then, all sorted!  For sure now everyone will see that the future depends on nurturing our resources not exploiting them.  Yeah right!  Now all we have to do is overcome the well-financed vested interests who have at their disposal resources which will at every turn counteract any move that threatens the status quo.  Sometimes it does feel incredibly pointless trying to change things but then doing nothing is not an option!!

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but I defy anyone to dispute the beauty and fine taste of this week's carrots.  A comment from Val (who is celebrating her birthday today) was that "they were a joy to harvest, hardly any imperfections or little ones to discard".  Hope you enjoy them.

In the box this week we have (drum roll)  NEW potatoes!  We also have those delicious new carrots pulled by Val, onions, pointed green cabbage, calabrese, tomatoes, mushrooms and lettuce.  In the fruit bag as well as apples, oranges and bananas we have clementines and kiwis.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

I don't think we have quite got into the rhythm of this blog

Apologies, yet again, for last week's missing blog.  Sorry, we (I) am not too good at this.

One of the things (one of the many things) that I was doing last week, (instead of writing the blog), was preparing some leaflets for Bicester's Big Lunch which I had been invited to attend in order to promote our box scheme.

I was reluctant to give up a lovely sunny Sunday in the garden especially when it meant spending the day in the middle of a town.  I still mourn the loss of the afternoon but my time was not wasted and I met some very friendly people.  I was cynical about the value of a community lunch in the centre of a town but was pleasantly surprised at how just putting lots of chairs and tables along the pedestrianised areas attracted people to stop a while.  It made me realise that there are very few places where one can inexpensively socialise in bigger groups.  By simply making this space the Big Lunch had encourage people to come out with their neighbours and friends into a space which could accommodate larger groups and they came out in large numbers and it was a huge success.  Well done the organisers and all the helpers!

In the box this week the potatoes are Lady Balfour - a good all-purpose potato.  As well as carrots and onions, this week's box contains butternut squash, celery, wet/fresh garlic, tomatoes, and frilly lettuce or salad.  The fruit bag has apricots and lemons in addition to the usual apples, oranges and bananas.