Author Archives: arthursorganics

A word from Hughes

As we approach August we find ourselves concentrating on our own Glasshouse production and that of Breckland Organics. With orders for other field crops typically low, we find it uneconomic to collect from Woodlands Farm in Lincolnshire who often supply cauliflower and calabrese among other things.
In the meantime we have a good harvest from the Glasshouse with many crops now in full flow.. Brecklands have had many weather related problems and the Onion crop is one casualty, not reaching a suitable size. However they are able to salvage some smaller grade for us to use, and that should supply us until the New Year at least. Many Onion crops have been lost in East Anglia as a result of mildew, the scourge of wet seasons, so we are fortunate.
We are waiting to hear about Sweetcorn which also suffered in the rainy season but should have enjoyed the warmer, drier July.
I will keep you updated but the availability will change little over the next few weeks although we should have a full range of heritage Tomatoes from the end of this week so they will come available.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

Pistachio, courgette & lemon cake

Big on flavour but light on texture, this easy bake is just as good packed into a tin for a picnic or served with Greek yogurt for dessert.

175g shelled pistachios
250g golden caster sugar
200g butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
280g plain flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
1¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 large eggs
140g Greek-style, full-fat yogurt (buy a big pot and keep the rest to serve alongside)
zest and juice 3 lemons
140g coarsely grated courgette
175g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon curd (optional)

Put 150g of the pistachios and the sugar in a food processor and whizz until the nuts are very finely ground.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, grease a 20 x 30cm cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Tip the pistachio sugar into a big mixing bowl with the butter, flour, baking powder and bicarb, eggs, yogurt and the zest and juice from 2 of the lemons. Beat with an electric whisk until smooth and combined.
Stir in the courgette until everything is well mixed, then scrape into the prepared tin. Bake for 35-40 mins until the cake is risen and golden, and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.
When the cake has fully cooled, remove from the tin and peel off the baking parchment. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, and gradually stir in enough lemon juice to get a runny-ish consistency. If you run out of juice, carry on mixing with water. Drizzle thickly over the cake, and repeat with lemon curd, if you like. Roughly chop the remaining pistachios and scatter over the icing, along with the remaining lemon zest. Leave to set for 10 mins, then cut into squares and serving with Greek yogurt. Will keep for 3 days in an airtight tin.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2015

A word from Grahame and Lizzie 20/06/16

Good morning
Growth has been far from rampant in the last week. Courgettes are a good barometer and yields have been around 30% less than last year.Other crops are progressing slowly but Celery and Beans are still about 10 days away.
Peppers and Aubergine are showing better colour as they establish roots but Tomatoes look particularly strong.
So we are waiting for the weather to improve and the signs are more hopeful.
With so little to harvest we have time to clear up and prepare some more space for the later Beans and some Salads. So we will be full again by the end of the week and looking to start to empty I hope.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News Early June

Good morning
So much for a bright beginning to June. Cloud and rain have certainly slowed things down. In truth the rain is much needed in the field but as ever unbroken sunshine suits us better in the Glasshouse! We certainly haven’t had that. But it is a chance to catch up and clear up now planting is complete. With Courgettes slowing up in this weather, harvesting is minimal but there are areas to be cleared and some later crops begun.
There are also Cucumbers to plant, replacements for the earlier failure. With only 100 of 480 surviving to planting we are woefully short of anticipated production in this period when there is relatively little available, a great disappointment. The few we have are starting to produce but there re so few!
On a brighter note the bunched Carrot harvest has begun and quality is good. They will enjoy this rain. Although there were losses in the cold Spring there are still plenty and in a few weeks we should have loose Carrots as well.
We also have Bean flowers, so only a week late. The crop is very patchy reflecting the difficulty we had in getting it established in the cold Spring. It is getting going now though nod Beans will only be a few weeks way.
But what we really need is for the sun to return.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News from last Monday:

Good morning
We are still planting. It is relentless through May. The Tomatoes are almost finished, Fennel and Salad Onion in their place and space being cleared as Spring crops finish. We have reached the end of the Spinach and Chard crops and that should make the space to complete the transition to Summer crops.
We still have a week or two of Salads and some Red and Green Oak leaf Lettuce just beginning.
Some sunshine would encourage the first Courgette flowers, while the slightly warming weather has also seen the Celery and Beans start to stretch. So it is all starting to shape but there are still lots of Aubergine and Pepper plants demanding attention.
It is very lean on the production front. Cauliflowers are highly productive but likely to dip until the next variety comes through. All roots but the large Beetroot have finished, Leeks are towards their end and only a few tons of Potato remain. It is a typical “hungry gap”. We are grateful for Asparagus and Rhubarb for some variety and soon we could be looking at Courgettes but Celery. Beans and the bunching Carrots will be more likely to be harvesting in mid June.
It is good to see it all coming on though.
Best wishes Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

Summer rarebit

Goat’s cheese, cider and grated beetroot take this classic Welsh version of cheese on toast to the next level.summer-rarebit

150g pack soft goat’s cheese (or vegetarian alternative)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
50ml cider
6 spring onions, sliced
1 egg
400g sourdough bread, thickly sliced
1 raw beetroot (about 140g), peeled
½ small pack dill, chopped
juice 1 lemon
watercress, to serve

Heat grill to medium. In a large bowl, beat together the cheese, mustard, cider, spring onions and egg until combined, and set aside.
Place the slices of bread on a large baking tray and pop under the grill for a few moments to toast on one side. Turn over and spoon the goat’s cheese mixture onto the untoasted side. Put back under the grill for 8-10 mins or until golden.
Chop the beetroot into large chunks and coarsely grate or blitz in a small food processor. Add half the chopped dill and the lemon juice, and stir to combine.
Serve the rarebits topped with a spoonful of the beetroot and the remaining chopped dill scattered over and watercress on the side.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2015

News from Hughes 09-05-16

Good morning
The promised heat wave certainly risked the temperature. It has been round 30c in the glasshouse and time to irrigate, which keeps me cool.
It makes harder work of establishing new crops and speeds on existing ones. It is a blessing though and will hopefully make up some lost time for the early yielding crops. It looks like being a late season though.
The season has brought on the Batavia Lettuce nicely and they will flush for a couple of weeks and hopefully the Oak leaves will soon follow.
With a return to a northerly airflow forecast for the end of the week we had better make the most of the remaining spell.
With Tomatoes ready to plant and Aubergine and Peppers due next week it will be a busy couple of weeks completing the planting.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

News from the glasshouse

Good morning.

At last some sunshine to speed things up and although the outside air is still cold, the glasshouse soon warms, at least by day. We will see the difference this week both in the standing crops and the seedlings, which will soon be chasing us for attention after a period of slow growth. We will complete the over wintered Spinach and Lettuce harvest this week and will have to wait a few weeks for the Spring plantings to mature. Chard will fill the gap and Leaf salads will soon follow, a week’s sunshine should get them going. Warmer prospects may just suit the sowing of early Beans and Courgettes which will really be a step into Summer mode.
So there is some positive movement in the Glass but outdoor work has been hampered by the heavy rain. It is not often I report that. Drilling has been delayed but conditions should improve significantly this week.

Best wishes,
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes

Latest Hughes News:

Good morning
The cold has certainly slowed things up.
Sprouting Broccoli is still scarce although it has been possible to gather some Cauliflower between frosts, some of which have been quite severe in Lincolnshire. So we do have some Cauli available although it will be of smaller size, being packed at 15/box, rather than be allowed to grow on and expose the curd to the frost.
As soon as the weather turns for the better we hope the Spring Brassicas will be full on.
In the Glasshouse it is similar, with crops almost ready. A little overwintered Lettuce could start next week although the majority is expected for mid April.
Salad leaves will be mid March for any reasonable quantity but Spinach and Chard will gather pace now and we will start with a smaller bag size which will increase as the crop develops.
So slowly the crops should start coming in and we will be into Spring and we can look forward all that it brings.
Best wishes
Grahame and Lizzie Hughes