Thursday, 22 December 2011

Digging Oca over christmas

We've had a fantastic harvest of Oca tubers this year, and have finally finished digging it all up just before Christmas.  Over the holidays we'll be cleaning and packing the tubers into small packets, then we'll put them all on the website.
We have several new varieties, including one we have selected from seed, which is a very rare thing indeed.  We hope you enjoy them!
It looks as though there will be very little Yacon this year, if there is any we'll put it on the web in January.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

New 2012 catalogue being posted out

We're now stuffing lots and lots of 2012 catalogues in envelopes. We're getting them in the post as fast as we can, but don't panic if you've asked for one and not received it yet - it should be on its way in the next week or so!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

New 2012 catalogue is almost done!

We've been working on next years' catalogue for a month or so now and it is almost done at last.

We've just been waiting for a few last things to be harvested and germination-tested. Today we went through the final draft checking all the codes and prices to make sure they match the website and shopping-cart software.

So now apart from updating the front cover ,it is ready to be sent off to Jones the Printer in Cardigan,  we've chosen a nice lemon yellow for the cover this year.   We do a different coloured cover each year so that we know at a glance if people are ordering from the right catalogue - if an order form turns up on the wrong colour paper we know in advance that the prices will all be wrong and there might be things that aren't in stock this year.
It also helps if people don't know if they have the latest catalogue or not when the phone us to request another copy, we can just ask 'do you have the green one or the yellow one?

The catalogue should be printed by the end of October and after a few days stuffing them into envelopes we'll post them out at the start of November. The website will be updated then too with the new seeds we have for you, there are some really nice new varieties.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


The turnip and swede harvest is in now,   we grew a great crop of Petrowski turnips.  These are being packed in sacks of damp sawdust and stored overwinter; they'll  be planted out again next spring to flower and set seed.

We grew vast quantities - had to get the trailer  to collect them all. But it is good as we can be really picky as to size, shape etc when choosing which ones to keep for seed.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Tomatoes Everywhere!

Our whole house is littered with crates of tomatoes waiting to be deseeded and jars of icky fermenting seed. We have three people growing tomatoes for us this year, as our own greenhouse is devoted to peppers and we're waiting for planning permission to put up our own polytunnels on our new land.

All three growers have had a really good harvest, so we have piles of Amish Paste, Ruby, De Colgar, Millefleur (yes it's back again) , Purple Ukraine, Dr Carolyn, Urbikany (back after a 2 yr gap), Legend and Reisetomate.

We squeeze the seeds out and ferment them for 3 days to remove the germination inhibitors that are in the gel surrounding each seed, then spread them out on plastic chopping boards to air-dry in a cool ventilated space.   After that they go into plastic tubs with silica gel , to dry further until reduced to 55% relative humidity, then they rest for a few weeks before germination testing and packing up for sale.

The deseeded 'waste'  gets blended up and preserved and we have at least a years' supply of bottled tomato and ketchup now!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Starting to work on the 2012 Catalogue

The new 2012 catalogue will be sent out in late Oct/Nov.  Enough of the harvest is in now that we have decided what will (and in some sad cases, won't) be in it.
We've got some exciting new veg to go in it, plus some old favourites that will return after a gap, such as Urbikany Tomato, which we have a good crop of this year.
Over the next few weeks we will be working on the paper catalogue, and then once that is laid out, the new version of the website.

A blog to keep you up to date

Our new blog should help you  find out when rare and limited things are available.

We'll also post to let you know what we're up to throughout the season.

The layout may change a bit as we get used to  this way of doing things, so bear with us.

Ben & Kate