February 2022 Newsletter

Beechlawn Organic Farm – February 2022

Current Irish Veg Available:

Beetroot, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage (Red/White/Savoy), Celeriac, Kale (Curly, Heritage, Dark Tops), Leeks, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Potatoes, Salad Leaf, Spinach

What’s On this Month:

  • Begin planting Native Irish Trees
  • Put in our New Propagation Tunnel
  • Prepare Tunnels/Land for Spring Sewing

VEGETABLE OF THE MONTH: COLOURED BEETROOT

Seedlings in Tunnel: February

Sown Direct into Field: April/May

Harvested/Ready to Eat: July – March

HEALTH BENEFITS:

Beetroot belongs to the same family as Chard and Spinach.  You can eat both the bitter tasting leaf and sweet tasting root of this vegetable.   Beetroot is high in nitrates, which can improve blood flow, making them heart-friendly.  They are rich in fiber, potassium and glutamine, which support the gut and can boost your digestive health.  They are also high anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities can be helpful in protecting your cells from conditions like heart disease and cancer.

FUN FACT:

Since the 16th century, beet juice has been used as a natural red hair day.

QUICK TIP:

Always leave the skin on while cooking!  It helps the beetroot keep its gorgeous colour.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Honey Roasted Coloured Beetroot

Preheat oven at 200C/180C(fan)

Ingredients

  • 600g Small Coloured Beetroot
  • 2 teaspoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Thyme
  • 2 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar

Step 1

Wash/Scrub beetroot, remove any excess leaves and wrap in foil.  Bake in the oven for 45min to an hour.  While baking, in a separate bowl, mix together the honey, oil and thyme.  Check beetroot after 45min by squeezing the foil.  If they still feel hard, put them back into the oven for another 15min and squeeze again until soft.

Step 2

Take beetroot out of foil, remove skin (recommend wearing gloves) and cut beets in half or quarters.

Step 3

Place cut beetroot in baking dish and drizzle over the honey, oil and thyme mixture.  Then put back into the oven for 5 min to warm through.

Step 4

Drizzle over Balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

 

A NOTE FROM THE OWNERS:

This week we start the first seed sowing of the year.  It is with some optimism and a little trepidation that I find myself in TUNNEL A sowing kale, broccoli and tomato seeds for April planting.

The optimism comes from a New Year and the morning of Feile Bride on February 1st.  This time next year we will have a new public holiday to bridge the gap between Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day.   How should we mark this day and remember St. Brigid?  Imbolc the pre-Christian manifestation is about birth and new life.  The past two years have been difficult for us all.  The front-line workers, carer’s, childminders, and nurses are predominantly female.  This day should recognize, thank and celebrate all the unseen work that the feminine energy contributes to our society.  For me, planting the new seeds in the ground is like planting seeds in the womb of the earth.

The trepidation comes from the challenge of running a business, taking on new staff for season ahead and facing increasing costs of buying inputs.  I am finalizing the crop plan in the next two weeks and this will guide our work over the next six months and sales up till April 2023.  I will be growing a little less this year and have the motto ‘’do less + do it better.’’  Some of you who know me, know that I often try something new or put a new crop into the ground without thinking it through.  Well, this is our 20th year growing at Beechlawn and I know we wouldn’t have got this far without risk-taking.  During the last 20 years, myself and Una have grown a business and a family of four children at the same time.  I look forward to celebrating this anniversary during the year with open days, attending food festivals and meeting you – our customers.  I will finish this by thanking all the women who work here with me, and Una my wife.

So if you are reading this, please give thanks to the Feminine/Goddess in your life.  Lets get a start on the celebrations of Feile Bride, as our new National Holiday.  Yours in the Soil.

Padraig Fahy

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