We have had a rethink about doing the organic veg bags over winter and have decided that after a couple of weeks off over Christmas we will continue to deliver veg bags through January and February, up until early March. We will then pause the veg bags for about 6-8 weeks, until mid-end of April. The reason for doing this is that we can still get good quality produce in from other local growers through January and February, but March is the beginning of the end of stored produce in the UK and the quality declines rapidly (which is what we found when we started the veg bags this year). We can then start producing some of the early veg in our polytunnels like radish, spring onions, the first greens for the bags in April.
We will of course keep you all posted and give you proper dates for all of this, but for now the last deliveries of the year will be on the week commencing 21st December (Friday deliveries will probably be on Wednesday 23rd that week). The veg bags will then restart on the week commencing 11th January 2021.
Christmas veg bags
We will be offering special organic Christmas veg bags for the week commencing 21st December. We have not finalised the contents, but they will include all the favourites - sprouts, potatoes, parsnips, red cabbage and the rest, plus our salad of course. We will also be offering a Bumper Veg Bag for bigger families. We will send out an email with more details of contents and pricing for the Christmas veg bags over the next few weeks. We will also be offering some "extras" for the Christmas week if you want to add on more of something to bulk up your order.
We recommend looking at the Old Dairy Kitchen's Pantry, who will be offering amazing hampers of produce from local producers to feast on over Christmas. Along with most of the hospitality sector they have suffered a lot this year, so if you have the means please do support them so that they can keep going next year! Anna will also be making her amazing wreaths again this year, so get in touch if you are interested in getting one of these too.
In addition to the "extras" that will be available from us over the Christmas week, there will be an opportunity to donate a small amount to help get food to people experiencing food poverty in our area. We will match the donations ourselves along with donating produce to our local food bank (which we have been doing since June). It has been a strange year, but it has really hit people who were already suffering financially before Covid and we want to do as much as we can to even out the inequalities in our local community. Next year we will be looking into working more with local organisations and to offer cheaper veg bags for those who are on lower income/lower wealth. This is something that will take a bit of work in terms of the administration involved but we hope to get this up and running by next summer. If anyone has any links to local groups who are working on this please let us know as it would be good to link up with existing groups.
What's happening at Trill?
In the last few weeks Trill has entered a new phase as Romy Fraser who owned the farm for 13 years has sold it. Romy will be keeping a hold of some of the land up at Trinity Hill and along with her daughters Lara and Tamsin have exciting plans and ideas centering around their core values of nature, health and education. Sign up to their newsletter to here more about their plans for the future.
We have been at the farm for over 10 years and will always be grateful to Romy for the opportunity that she gave us here - offering us a market garden to do what we wanted with and also building an amazing farm to bring up our family as well as creating a space where we have been able to share our experience and knowledge with many others through the traineeships and courses that we run.
We welcome Roland, Olga and their family to the farm who we look forward to working with in the years to come. Their interest in conservation will mean more woodland being planted and more wildflower meadows being introduced.
Finally a huge thanks to everyone who has helped us in the garden this year. Lucy has come to the end of her traineeship with us, but will be comtinuing to work part time with us next year. Meanwhile, Hester, who has also been training with us will be continuing the traineeship next year which is great news for us! Emma will continue to work in the garden next year too, whilst Ellen who has been working in the garden and helping to run it with us for the last 5 or so years will be going on parental leave at the end of the year. So, changes are happening here, but we will continue to grow as much organic veg as possible on our small patch of ground, always trying out different techniques and varieties to keep things interesting!
Next few weeks...We will be getting into the autumn and winter projects over the next few weeks now that all of the polytunnels are planted up. This will include redesigning our packing shed to make more space for packing the veg bags alongside our wholesale orders, cleaning the polytunnels, making a shelter for our tractor, and if it dries out a bit, or we have some heavy frosts, sorting out the drainage around some of the polytunnels as well as moving compost around the garden to mulch some of the beds.
Ashley has been running Trill Farm Garden since 2010 with his partner Kate. Ellen is the Senior Grower and Seed Coordinator at Trill Farm Garden.