Godney Aquaponics

Godney Aquaponics
In the village of Godney, with the beautiful back drop of the Glastonbury Tor, Melv and Sal are embarking on a new venture. Fed up with the poor quality of veg in the shops, they have the ambition to set up an aquaponics system to provide fresh vegetables and salad crops for the village, and with a little help from their hens a supply of fresh free range eggs too.

What is Aquaponics??

What is Aquaponics??
Aquaponics is a sustainable method of producing quality food with minimal external inputs. It is a system that combines conventional aquaculture (e.g. fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. Water from the aquaculture system is fed to the hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down and are utilised by the plants as nutrients, and the water is then re-circulated back to the aquaculture system.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Colours of the rainbow - an inspiration

There are obvious colourful vegetables such as an old favourite rainbow chard

and of course rainbow carrots

together with the old fruity favourites such as scarlet red coloured strawberries

But this year we have been growing something that little bit different, like All Gold raspberries, which has a unique colour and superb flavour, producing large, golden yellow fruits, with a taste that is even more exquisite than its red-fruited sisters! 

Three different types of beetroot

Which includes a stripy one - Candy Stripe / Chioggia which are sweeter than traditional beets with beautiful pink and white stripes.

But at the moment the stars of the show has to be the cauliflowers

Helped by recent rainfall, they are simply the best

and better...

Almost too good to eat!

Nothing goes to waste when you have chickens that like to eat their greens!

No persuasion is needed when it comes to our hens and the consumption of greens, which means nothing is wasted once plants run out of steam in the production of leaves suitable for our customers.

Cavolo nero is one of their favourites, with the stalk providing a good anchor from which they can nibble off the leaves.

As for the bantams, they always appreciate a helping hand away from the melee of the larger birds.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Glorious greens and seeing leaves in a different light

When you think of cabbage leaves you would be forgiven for thinking that they can be a bit bland and boring, well hopefully I am about to illustrate that they are far from that and just may be entice you to try a variety that are that little bit different.

First on the list has to be cavolo nero or black cabbage

This variety are beautiful elongated dark tangy leaves, which are crisp and packed with nutrients and flavour with a sweet aftertaste. These glaucous ‘squeaky’ leaves are an excellent source of calcium, iron, beta carotene and vitamins E and C.

Second is scarlet kale

An amazing crinkly leaf with a stunning central purple vein. This curly leaved red kale offers a mild cabbage-like flavour with earthy nuances when cooked, but also mingles nicely in salads, stir-fries, and soups as well as looking great too!
Third has to be khol rabi leaves

These are a far more delicate leaf, once again with a beautiful purple vein, but a little silkier than the previously mentioned kale. They offer a milder taste and of course offer the added bonus of an edible bulb associated with them!!

and fourth on the list are collard greens

This is a stunning leafy green, which is much less fibrous than most cabbages so it's great young as a baby leaf and as it's so sweet , lacking a strong cabbage taste and so making them is perfect in salads too. This loose-leaved collard is brimming full of nutrients and flavour. It is also a perfect choice for smoothies and juicing for a nutrient-packed start to the day.

 Moving to leaves with a bit of colour, red orach

In contrast to the green leaves this deep red leaf is a nutrient-rich superfood, but like one of its green neighbours, it has similar culinary uses to spinach, but has a silkier texture and a sweeter taste when cooked. It maintains is colour and is packed with vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, anthocyanins, phosphorous, iron, protein, zinc, selenium, tryptophan, vitamin C, vitamin K, carotenes and dietary fibre.

Rainbow chard

Rainbow chard leaves are tender and have a taste similar to beet greens and spinach. While some may find the leaves slightly bitter, they are less vegetal in flavour than kale. The crunchy stems are slightly sweet and have a similar taste and texture to pak choi stems and colour to any plate.

And to finish with a combination of the two, a rich cabbage green and a touch of delicate colour - it is always worth looking for something special hidden amongst those broad, beautiful leaves...

for a special 'Sunset' cauliflower.

Home grown

Now normally with our horticultural hats on when we talk about home grown we are refering to vegetables. But for the first time since we hav...