Chard, healthy, seasonal produce.

Chard, healthy, seasonal produce.

Chard is a leafy vegetable, it is a member of the beet family. Unlike beetroot which are primarily harvested for their roots, chard is grown for it’s crunchy stalks and larger tender leaves. For many thousands of years chard has been cultivated, it most likely originates in the Mediterranean, where it was incredibly popular until the introduction of spinach. There are many different varieties of chard, this delightful vegetable is known by many names including Swiss chard, sea kale beet, white beet, Sicilian beet, Roman kale, spinach beet, perpetual spinach, mangold, bright lights, crab beet, strawberry kale and silver beet. The name chard originates from the French word “carde”, which refers to the artichoke thistle or cardoon. It is possible to eat chard raw or cooked. When the leaves are tender and young they are commonly used in salads. As it matures it can be sautéed or added to recipes, the leaves and stems become tougher and the taste is more bitter, the cooking process helps to mellow the flavour. Swiss Chard. This variety is also known as silver beet and perpetual spinach. The leaves are shiny, ribbed and  tender with a deep green colour and white stalks. Taste wise this variety is very similar to spinach, although it has a more bitter flavour. The ribbed leaves can often become quite muddy, so it is important to wash any dirt off before use. After washing it is best kept wrapped in a paper towel and refrigerated, under these conditions it should keep for up to four days. The name may mislead some into thinking that it originates in Switzerland. The word Swiss was...
Winter Crops from Canara Farm

Winter Crops from Canara Farm

Winter Crops Update. The winter crops plan that Pete has produced for Canara Farm is producing some positive results at this point. Many chef’s throughout Cornwall and Devon are already using the fantastic rainbow chard, that has been available since October. We are very excited to share some pictures of the other winter crops that will be available from December on wards. Emerald Ice Kale – One of the best quality kales available. The Emerald Ice Kale has a stunning colour contrast with a distinct white centre. These winter crops maintain their crispness and have a sweet flavour. Midnight Sun Kale – This Kale has a very striking appearance with a vibrant pink vein running through the leaves. We hope these two kales will help add some stunning colour combinations to your dishes. Rainbow Carrots  – Over the last few years bunches of Rainbow Carrots from Canara Farm have been incredibly popular and we look forward to our first harvest of them. Other Winter Crops. Last week we were pleased to introduce the fantastic Kalettes from Padstow Garden Kitchen, but what other winter crops can you look forward to over the coming months. We have seen the arrival of Cornish Purple sprouting today and are confident that this will be a feature on seasonal menus. We also have fantastic Cornish Romanesque Cauliflowers available alongside good quality local cauliflowers. Previous years we have seen Cornish Kiwis arrive in the depot during December and January, although we can’t guarantee these we hope to have them. Late December early January should hopefully see the arrival of some popular citrus varieties the Seville...
Beans – Runners & Broad in season

Beans – Runners & Broad in season

Broad Beans Broad beans are Believed to of originated in the Mediterranean and now grown in temperate regions across the globe. They have been an important staple for millennia as shown by archaeological findings at iron and Bronze Age settlements. Types of vetch, broad beans have the Latin name vicia faba, and are related to alfalfa and peas. Being a nitrogen fixing plant, they are perfect for enriching the soil in which they are planted. Cultivated broad beans commonly fall into two classes; Windsor and Longpod. Windsor varieties have four or five beans per pod and considered to have a finer flavour. In comparison, Longpod are more durable to different climates and contain eight beans per pod. Broads can be simply boiled, buttered and served however, they are much more versatile having a particular affinity to pork- based meat dishes including pancetta, bacon and chorizo. Popular in Spain, Habas fritas which is roasted or deep fried broads are a deliciously addictive bar snack. Runner Beans A known food crop for well over 2,000 years, runner beans are native to cool, high-altitude regions of Central America. It wasn’t until the 17th century that the vegetable was brought to the British Isles as a decorative plant by a gardener to King Charles I called John Tradescant before being used as a food staple in Britain. The variety, Phaseolus coccineus has long been the favourite due to its fast growing nature and beautiful flowers however; most of the beans grown in the UK for commercial use are Scarlet runners. Pods are usually green in colour however, there are a few very rare varieties...
Canara Farm first signs of new crops.

Canara Farm first signs of new crops.

Canara Farm’s range of produce over the winter months has been restricted to Baby Turnips and Rainbow Chard. The Rainbow Chard has unfortunately ended now, we are still getting some stunning looking Baby Turnips picked fresh a couple times a week.   Growing in the Canara Farm Nursery. We have previously mentioned our Canara Farm crop plans for 2016 and are pleased to see some promising early signs of these crops. In the nursery at the moment we have early shoots of Chick Peas. Mangetout. Broad Beans. The Chick Peas are a variety known as Principe. The flavour is described as sweet and nutty and are eaten “Edamame” style. Once harvested these fresh green pods will have one or two peas inside. We are hoping for another successful crop of the Shiraz Purple Mangetout. Over the past few seasons chef’s used these purple peas to add a dash of deep purple colour to salads and stir fries. We can’t wait to see this beautiful variety appearing on the plants as they mature. Growing alongside the Mangetout we have some Stereo Broad Beans. This variety is known for being a deliciously tender bean that can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Canara Farm updates. If you want to keep up to date with stock from Canara Farm as it arrives in our fridges please follow our Twitter account. To stay up to date with all the fantastic produce from Canara Farm sign up to our weekly newsletter. If you  previously used or plan to use any of this wonderful Cornish grown produce we would love to see some pictures and share them...
Westcountry Social Media Review 2015

Westcountry Social Media Review 2015

Westcountry – Our Favourite Tweets 2015. With Christmas behind us and 2016 looming, here at Westcountry we are using our Twitter feed to look back over 2015. This past year has been a very positive year across all 3 of our depots. Westcountry Trade Shows. We began the year with some very successful trade shows in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Our custom designed trade stand attracted many visitors and gave us a chance to catch up with old customers and make connections with new customers. We had some fantastic feedback from everyone who visited our trade stand at each trade show. ZLC Energy told us that they were recommending our “beautiful stall” to every one at Expo West. The Exploding Bakery and Little Pod were both very impressed with our “great looking stand” that was called one of the “best looking stands” at the Source Trade Show. Canara Farm. The produce from our Organic Farm at Mylor went from strength to strength. We had great a great response to every Canara Farm related tweet. Even Dutch based Global Green House news outlet Horti Daily picked up on our Heritage Cherry Tomato mix. The stunning varieties of tomatoes were impressing customers from throughout the South West, the team behind Cornwall Hour went so far as to say “they look like a work of art”. Tomatoes were not the only Canara Farm product that gained a lot of attention this year with our Rainbow Radish being highlighted by world wide fruit and vegetable news source Fresh Plaza. Our Bunched baby turnips have looked great though out the later part of...
Organic Cornish Production Plans Canara Farm 2016

Organic Cornish Production Plans Canara Farm 2016

Speciality Organic Cornish Produce. As previously mentioned we have big plans for growing a unique selection of organic Cornish produce at Canara Farm in 2016. After careful planning we are now ready to reveal our full plan for 2016. We are very excited and feel 2016 will be a great year for Canara Farm. In 2016 we plan on growing a more diverse range of organic Cornish produce that should delight and inspire chefs. As in previous years we will be growing a range of heritage tomatoes as well as some stunning varieties of strawberries, potatoes, beans, chilies and more. Organic Tomato Poly Tunnels. We will be growing a colourful selection of organic Cornish heritage tomato varieties. These will be used in combinations to produce three distinct tomato product lines; Mixed Cherry Tomato 500g punnet. Canara Gold 500g punnet. Artisan Tomato Mix 3kg. The varieties we plan on growing this year are; Tomatoberry – small thin skinned berry shaped fruits, with outstanding sweet taste an exquisite addition to summer salad bowls. Rainbow Blend – sensational mix of sweet, juicy, colourful baby plum tomatoes. This blend will add vibrant colours and tastes to salads, sauces and a variety of tomato dishes. Brown Berry – a heritage cherry variety with a sweet taste and smokey undertones. Zebra Plum Tomato – a distinctive brown on red striped tomato. Canara Gold – bright orange cherry tomato, the high sugar content makes this an irresistibly sweet juicy tomato. Lorenzo – a vivid yellow main crop tomato. Black Prince – with deep black/chocolate brown colourings, this tomato has a flavour as deep and rich as the colour....