March 2022 Newsletter

Beechlawn Organic Farm – MARCH 2022

CURRENT IRISH VEG AVAILABLE:

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

WHAT’S ON THIS MONTH:

  • Continue planting Native Irish Trees
  • Continue to put in our New Propagation Tunnel
  • Prepare Tunnels/Land for Spring Sewing

VEGETABLE OF THE MONTH: Cabbage (Red/White/Savoy)

Seedlings in Tunnel: Early March

Sown Direct into Field: Late April

Harvested/Ready to Eat: August – April

HEALTH BENEFITS:

Cabbage can improve digestion, combat inflammation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, is a great source of fiber, and is packed with vitamins such as C and K.  Cabbage is SO EASY to add to your diet due to its versatility.  You can bake, boil, steam, sauté or throw it in a stir-fry.  The recipes do not stop there… Red and White Cabbage offers a nice alternative to green cabbage as it is antioxidant-rich, visually appealing and great in coleslaw, sauerkraut or used in kimchi.

FUN FACT:

In ancient China, it was believed that cabbage was a magic cure-all for bald men.

QUICK TIP:  How to Properly Shred Cabbage for Coleslaw/Soups/Salads/etc.

  1. Remove outer leaves that are damaged and/or discolored followed by rinsing the cabbage thoroughly under cold water.
  2. Cut the stem off the cabbage to flatten the bottom and place the cabbage on a work surface stem side down.
  3. Cut the cabbage in half from top to bottom, then cut each half in half again, creating quarters
  4. Remove the stem and core from each section
  5. Place the flat side of each wedge against your work surface. Then thinly slice the cabbage into strips, going as far as you can across the wedge before the remaining wedge becomes too small to manage.
  6. Place the unshredded part of the wedge flat against the surface and continue slicing until the entire wedge is shredded.
  7. Slice the shreds in half to shorten them and you can run your knife vertically through the shreds one final time to slice them thinner.
  8. Repeat shredding process with remaining wedges and proceed with your recipe.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Sautéed Cabbage (Quick, Easy, Healthy)

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of Green Cabbage, Shredded
  • 1 Onion, Sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Heat butter and oil over medium high heat.  Sauté onions for a minute or until starting to soften.  Then stir in minced garlic and cook for 30sec, or until fragrant.  Add cabbage and sauté for 12-15minutes.  During this time, stir the cabbage occasionally until the cabbage becomes soft and caramelized. Before serving, season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

A MESSAGE FROM THE OWNERS:

Chun céiliúradh a dheanamh ar Seachtain na Gaeilge ( 1-17 Márta), is feidir lenar custaméirí ríomhpost nó nóta a chuir trí Ghaeilge le bhur ord glasraí agus gheobhaidh sibh bronntanas beag ón feirm. (Glasraí nó tórthaí) don t-seachtain 14-18 Márta. Míle buíochas don tacaíocht!

The month of March brings longer days, giving us the opportunity to prepare the ground for the coming growing season.  It has been 20 years since we started growing organic vegetables here at Beechlawn Organic Farm.  At first our neighbours saw it as a novelty and we were in the ‘‘long hair and sandal brigade.’’  Sadly the long hair has since gone for me, but the passion and interest is still as strong as ever.  We started with half an acre and two polytunnels.  We would sell our veg at the Ballinasloe Saturday Market and veg boxes to friends and neighbours in our locality.

Much has changed in 20 years.  In 2002 there were only 500 organic farmers in Ireland and by the end of this year that number should grow to 2000.  Ireland are at the back of the class in terms of production in Europe, but with the changes coming in the new Common Agriculture Policy and the government’s commitment, this should grow to 7% by 2030.

Organic production is not as exposed to the vagaries of intensive production with its reliance on oil, high inputs and energy costs.  The past two years has challenged our food system with the pandemic, climate change, and the continuous energy crisis, leading farmers to face the rationale for high input food production.  There is a need to move food production back to local systems and grow models that link the farm and the fork.

The mild winter has left us with great crops and quality.  We will have leeks, potatoes, kale, cabbage, and beetroot up until May along with new season production from the polytunnels.  I want to thank the harvest team of who have worked tirelessly in the many different weather elements to get the crops out of the field all winter.  Without this dedicated team of harvesters, we wouldn’t be able to get the crops to you.  Have a great month ahead and enjoy the double bank holiday!  We look forward to seeing your unmasked faces again.

Regards,

Padráig & Úna

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