Cucumbers The Greek Way

Some of our tasty cucumbers

We tried a few cucumbers last year but they weren’t planted or maintained very well; this year we seem to have got everything right and I am astonished how productive our plants are.

Our plants are pumping them out like crazy and what a great summer vegetable it is. Cucumbers make me think of Greece and a holiday I had there over twenty years ago.

Tzatziki turned up on my plate one evening in the restaurant and I asked the waiter what it was. He explained ”is a salad,” but it didn’t look like any salad I had ever eaten. Dipping in was a revelation. Fresh, minty, creamy with tangy garlic, I have loved it ever since. Cooling and fresh, it keeps you coming back for more.

I love Tzatziki as an accompaniment to any Greek food, as a dip and also a great side dish to any curry.

At this time of year though, when cucumbers are so prolific, fresh and tasty, it’s great to have as the centerpiece. As my Greek waiter indicated, it’s a salad in its own right.

My recipe for Tzatziki is:

1 (or 2) large cucumber peeled, de-seeded and grated
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp Mint leaves, finely chopped
Half a large tub of plain Greek yogurt (the actual amount is up to you, depends how ‘yogurty’ you like it).

Note, adding 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice is an option and some recipes have lemon as the main flavour with mint as optional extra. I prefer mine minty.

Method

Peel, de-seed and grate the cucumber, place in a colander, then sprinkle with a little salt. Place a saucer on top and something to weigh it down. Leave for a while so that the salt and weight drive out some of the water from the cucumber. Without this step the dish can become quite watery.

Place all the ingredients in a dish and then mix well. Chill in the fridge. Enjoy

My Tzatziki

If you have a favourite or different recipe for cucumbers or any of our vegetables you can leave them on our recipe page here.

Posted in Recipe | Leave a comment

Taster Day – Try Being A Farmer

Some of our happy band of volunteers.

Get a taste of growing your own vegetables and fruit in a community…and leave with some fresh produce of your own.

For anyone wanting to find out more about what it’s like to be a volunteer at the farm, we are offering a choice of two 2-hour taster sessions open to all (members and non-members), starting at 11am and 2pm. YOU ONLY NEED TO REGISTER IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON DRIVING (see below).

There’s always something to do at our farm from tending the produce in our market garden to looking after the chickens, harvesting veg for our weekly boxes or supporting our outreach ventures.

While making the farm flourish, there are also many benefits to being a volunteer: learning eco-friendly growing skills; getting exercise in a healthy outdoor environment; having fun with a community of friends; not to mention taking home and eating delicious, healthy vegetables.

What will the 2-hour session involve?

– an informal talk by Neil Hickson, our farm manager and founder
– a tour of the farm to discover how all the parts fit together
– a sampling of activities we have available in our market garden, the poly tunnel, in the forest garden and with our chickens!

The farms ecological partners, The Tree Bee Society CIC, will have some bees on display whilst Vegetarian and Vegan caterers ‘Give Peas A Chance’ will be rustling up some healthy wholesome snacks made from Burscough Community Farm produce.

In addition to on site volunteering we are also looking for support with some of the more administrative work including volunteers to apply for funding bids. If you’re interested in offering this kind of support, we would love to hear from you and we can talk more about this at the taster day.

Our volunteers have accomplished so much together over the 3 & 1/2 years since we opened. Join our team and you too can play a vital role in our local farm all while spending time in the open air and engaging with nature.

DUE TO LIMITED PARKING SPACE WE HAVE TO RESTRICT THE NUMBER OF CARS ON SITE. IF YOU ARE PLANNING DRIVE TO THE EVENT WE ASK THAT YOU CLICK HERE TO REGISTER (only one registration per car load is necessary).

IF YOU ARE COMING BY OTHER MEANS THERE IS NO LIMIT AND THEREFORE NO NEED TO REGISTER.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our Two Visitors Paddle Off On Their Adventure

Glenn Sargent and Jason Smith called into the farm last night to spend the night. The two friends from Barrow in the lake district have set out on an adventure to paddle in a kayak and canoe all the way from the River Ribble in Preston right the way down to Stone in Stafford, a distance of 117 miles where Glenn will be reunited with his fiance.

Jason contacted me a couple of weeks ago asking if it would be okay to camp for the night on the farm as he saw it was along their route and would make a handy stopping point at the end of their first day on the water.

It was a pretty tough start to their journey where they had to battle their way against the receding tide up the River Douglas hampered by a heavy rain storm.

Glenn said that it looked easy on the map but paddling up river against the tide made it necessary for them to both jump into the canoe and tow the kayak behind them.

Putting their tent up in our poly tunnel gave them a reasonably dry and comfortable nights sleep. We brought them some towels from home and lent them our stove so it was easier for them to cook their evening meal.

So today they start the next leg of their journey down the Rufford Line to the Leeds to Liverpool canal where they will head through Wigan to camp tonight outside a pub in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

Glenn said that the two of them had been thinking about doing this kind of trip for a while and he fancied an adventure after he had been laid up with a broken ankle. The premature death from cancer of one of Glenn’s footballing friends, Gareth Brown, gave them the extra motivation to make it happen.

Glenn is raising money for Cancer Research UK through the JustGiving site at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/glenn-sargent1?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=Glenn-Sargent1&utm_campaign=pfp-share

They hope to complete their journey on Friday night at The Star Pub in Stone, Staffordshire. Glenn’s fiance’s parents used to run the pub and he will be reunited with her for a celebration of their journey.

Update Friday 18th of August

I am pleased to say that Jason and Glenn succesfully finished their journey. Here is a screenshot of their Facebook page:

Canoe pair’s Facebook page.

Posted in photo story | Leave a comment

Green Fayre at Beacon Park

We have a nice big stand at the Green Fayre in the Active West Lancs Marquee, so call in over the weekend if you are around. 11:00-17:00 Saturday and Sunday.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Potato Crop For Mondays Veg Share

A new potato variety to us, Casablanca have given really good yields.

If you are getting our veg share today you will be getting potatoes, onions, broad beans, broccoli, mange tout, chard and beetroot. All freshly harvested this morning.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vegbox Time

We have finally reached that point in the year when we have enough crops coming ready to launch our veg box.

Working out on the field today with the volunteers has been amazing, everything is so lush and there is a gentle breeze stopping the sunshine from getting too overwhelming.

One new crop we are trying this year is Jerusalem Artichokes, highly nutritious and delicious.

If you are interested in trying one of our veg boxes, sign up on this site for a trial box. If you want to keep up with what is happening out here on the farm sign up for our regular email newsletter.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Potatoes Looking Good

Our previously weedy potato patch is looking pretty good now it has been banked up by our volunteers today. Good work everyone, I’m looking forward to the new potatoes boiled with a sprig of mint in a few weeks time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Poly Tunnel Takes Shape

Rob and Graham hard at work on what must have been the hottest day of the year so far. They are putting the final touches on our new poly tunnel frame before we fit the cover. Weather permitting, we hope to get this done on Sunday if you feel like giving us a hand. It’s a job that needs a few people if it’s not too windy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Field Trailer

Now we can get all the tools down to the market garden in one go. Thanks very much Andy Lee.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Great Day For Volunteers

Burscough Community Farm volunteers last Thursday.

Our happy band on Thursday 11th May

Thursday was a really great volunteer day with a small army of helpers out there on the field. It wasn’t a specially organised day, just a regular Thursday volunteer day with a few extra rays of golden sunshine. This is the one of the best things about Burscough Community Farm, a whole bunch of us of all different ages and backgrounds getting together in this wonderful outdoor setting to grow food together.

We all gain different things from this. Some are there to learn, some for companionship, some for exercise and some just to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on their back. We all benefit from these things, all ages, all abilities, there are jobs for everyone and time for a chat.

This years Garlic beds

This years Garlic beds

Crops are starting to sprout up now and the Garlic is looking particularly good with double the crop that we had last year. We could do with a dose of our current drought  weather in July when we come to harvest it.

Our New Loo

inside the new compost toilet

Inside the new compost toilet.

The new compost toilet that sits alongside the barn (much more convenient) has had a lick of paint and some new floor covering courtesy of ‘handy’ Terry Lake.

The Dragon Breathes

Getting direct sown crops off to a good start means that you have to try and eliminate the competition from weeds. One of the best ways that I have found to do this ‘organically’ is to use the flame weeder to burn the tiny weed seedlings off before the crop shoots emerge.

A short pass with the flame doesn’t actually burn the weeds, it just fractures cells within their structure which causes them to die off within 24 hours. Such a short exposure from intense heat does very little to harm the soil, barely penetrating a millimetre below the surface.

Because it burns Paraffin, getting the flame weeder to light is an art in itself. A small fire lit in the nozzle must be burned first to start the paraffin to heat up and vapourize. The burner is then pumped up so the vapour is forced out under pressure giving a roaring 4000 degree Celsius flame. It isn’t for the timid and took quite a few goes to perfect. This tool needs treating with respect like any pet dragon.

Posted in photo story | Leave a comment