the challenges of winter ...

We love a challenge at River Nene and two weeks of snow and bitterly cold

weather at the end of February really poses quite a test. The icy spell holds back

the development of some of our really important winter crops like cauliflower

and purple sprouting broccoli. I'm afraid it has meant that neither will feature

in the boxes this week. But things are looking up. The weather forecast for the

next ten days is quite positive and should do what we need to bring the crops

on. All they need is a little bit of warmth and light to spur them in to action. So

be patient and we will have some hearty cauliflower heads and wonderful

sprouting broccoli in the boxes for you soon.

This week the boxes will be filled with good hardy winter vegetables, great for

roasting and making fantastic soups. The ugly looking alien like vegetable that

many of you have is celeriac. Although it wouldn't win any prizes in a beauty

contest it does have plenty of hidden qualities. Once peeled it's really quite

versatile and delicious - you can mash it, roast it or even grate it into salads. To

help you out there are a few celeriac recipes with the newsletter and if you need

any more ideas there are plenty on the website (www.rivernene.co.uk). Some of

you will also have kale in your box this week. In my opinion kale deserves a far

better reputation than it seems to have acquired over the years. It's a great

winter vegetable,standing up to some of the worst weather that a UK February

can throw at it and when cooked it has a wonderful, vibrant green colour, holds

flavour beautifully and is packed full of nutrients. As always we hope that you

get lots of pleasure out of preparing, cooking and eating what we can offer from

the farm.

Rob Haward