Oriau Agor Nadolig/The Xmas Plan
Basically we are open all week;
Noswyl Nadolig/Xmas Eve 10-1pm
We are then CLOSED until Thursday January 13th for annual (human)recharging+repair.
Availability we expect to be reasonably good with lots of greens+roots.Caulis are touch and go on the next batch but Brussel Sprouts between us,Ritec and Royal Oak should be enough for all....
Some news on the shop extension is with the accompanying pics but with ltd space please be patient with elderly or slower customers.
Covid Update is that we remain conscious of the latest Omicron wave.The challenge remains to avoid ingesting infected air and settings containing it.Airborne disease control is all about achieving clean air,a fact grasped by Florence Nightingale over 160 years ago.Our building continues to be well ventilated with our CO2 monitor rarely exceeding 500ppm.
Some customers remain reluctant to filter their expelled breath with an appropriate facecovering but worth remembering shop workers here,at Aldi or elsewhere are unlikely to want to deliberately share your air, however sparkling your immune system might be.Why would you?
The article(albeit form a lefty source) below provides some contrast between China(other Asian countries are comparable)and approaches such as the UK's. Public Health policy here remains subject to continual looting(Dyson air cleaner scandal today)and undermining by inconsistent individualism.
Covid aside let's hope for some more progressive experiences in 2022.Thanks for all support during some difficult points in 2021!
Diolch yn Fawr o Bawb yn Glebelands; Elin/Laluna/Phil/Joe/Sam/Owen/Adam/Pip/Lesley/Rhian
Gaeaf yn Dod!/No More Storm Arwens Please
As we all recuperate from a fierce northerly blasting time to take stock.Apologies if we looked like 60s Soviet Cosmonauts at times but staying warm wasn't easy. We certainly didn't have any trouble achieving a well ventilated shop building.....
A big part of our work has been to keep us all eating seasonally,particularly displacing imported veg with crops we can produce here. After a prolonged mild Autumn many crops are "forward"and our date planning/yields challenged.Lots of choice now but probably less later on. As accompanying pics suggest we have some great greens,tunnel crops and herbs but Celery and Celeriac proved drought casualties.Across the wider UK many roots are smaller and more expensive for similar 2021 drought reasons.
More positively Mediterranean citrus can really lift Winter spirits and Blood Oranges and Sevilles are imminent.Lemons have stopped being quite so expensive finally.Xmas hours we will confirm soon but needless to say we will be open more days.
Covid 19 remains a significant problem for us and all businesses while official advice remains at best poor.We have stopped offering hand sanitiser (there are no contact cases globally) but recognition of the airborne nature of the disease has been very slow. The parallels with response to Victorian epidemics are disappointing with so much expertise available.We have tried to make Glebelands a low risk place to shop but a trickle of people who consider relatively obvious public health measures an affront to their liberty waste a lot of staff time and patience.Continued widespread abuse of the lanyard disability exemption scheme has caused much frustration for those with a disability.
Cefn Gwald Iwerddon/Habitat Creation Wicklow Style
Lesley's brother Mark Bryson appearing in a nice piece on habitat (re)creation,wildflowers and the life supported in the "Wild Gardener". Around 21 mins in as well as introduction. The film of dragonflies is particularly impressive. Ecoseeds Ltd, where Lesley originally worked, have benefited from the UK's Brexit self destruct plan with much more intra-Ireland seed trading+contracting since.
Pwmpenni a Meddyliau Calan Gaeaf/Pumpkins Edible and Carvable
Yes we've got lots of Pumpkins(£1-£2-£3) for carving but also very edible(many sold are not). Halloween has been a special day in the more Celtic bits of the British Isles forever,and more recently in England too. Traditional nights of mischief,children eating Hazelnuts and carving out Swede/Turnips have given way to Pumpkins(easy to carve compared to Swede!) and some trick or treating.
Pumpkins/Squash are a productive crop on sheltered land and still growing in popularity.This year has produced our biggest crop to date,4 tonnes if we are lucky,from around 500 plants.Once cured some varieties will store kept at room temperature right through to next Summer. In their home range they formed one of the 3 sisters(with Maize+Beans)fueling many civilisations past.
As we move into darker days we have a relatively good stock of Winter crops we have nursed through a drought themed Summer.Not surprisingly we looking at boreholes again after damage to Celery and Celeriac crops and hours lost to irrigation duties.During August and Sept our propagation tunnel was reconstructed and a new polytunnel 3 erected.Many thanks to all at 5 Star Polytunnels once again.Progress on the long awaited building extension has been slower.
The fallout from the 2019 election continues around us.Previously unthinkable events such as empty shelves,fuel shortages,widespread corruption and a significant fall in life expectancy are seemingly being accepted by many people.Seeing polling suggesting many would vote for more of this is perplexing, although it is probably easier to grasp UK realities through a German newspaper than a rabid UK one.This has at least provided opportunities for Welsh media and Nation.Cymru and The National have thrived.
Cardigan continues to look a success in tricky circumstances although gentrification continues to deal it's double hand of better quality of life for many while also driving out many younger people born here.The refusal of Welsh Gov to use their planning remit to act on second homes is very disappointing and fronted by a "consultation ".
At this stage of the year appropriate to say thanks for all who have worked through some gruellers and kept us all well fed ; Sam/Richard/Owen/Joe/Phil/Elin/Laluna/Marta/Holly/Leon/Julie Parsley/Anna/Rhian/Sara.
Decent piece on why stuff might not be appearing on the shelves across the western world any time soon.
Spoiler; not a good read for Covid deniers but a good argument for keeping hold of manufacturing and production nearer to home.
Adar a Ffermio/View From Another Field
Some useful comment from S.Lincs here.Nicholas Watts straddles both the world of arable farming(basically the crops that are most of our diet) and bird life.While his writing is slightly stream of consciousness he is full of real information.He is not unaware of the paradoxes of trading successfully to the current market, while some of that cropping damages the surroundings he so values.Low food prices in the UK continue to force farming techniques that damage the world around us.Our "get out" from this situation at Glebelands is our farmshop enabling us to produce profitably enough through direct selling to you the public at competitive prices. Our frustration at Aldi et al bringing in very cheap usually non-organic crops is that the soil damage in achieving that price is still paid but not on the shelf.Flooding,climate change and public health have been treated as someone else's future problem, a strategy now failing in front of us.
Vine House crops appear at Glebelands from time to time,Eg Sweetcorn that we couldn't cost effectively grow,and where gaps in Welsh supply remain.
Meddwl Cauli!/It's That Time Again
Great big Caulis for next 2 weeks.Really an enormous flower bred to an extreme but beloved of the mild SW coasts of Cymru,Cornwall and Brittany.Ourselves and Ritec(at Tenby) both grow them over Winter,very much at the mercy of frost periods.Continuity is nigh impossible so get them whenever we can cut them.Often treated as a cheap frozen staple but low grower prices mean a chaotic industry reliant on foreign labour and nitrogen fertiliser.Ours rely on clover and Cardi-nitrate(out of the sky).
More people now roasting Cauli,Lebanese style but with the right dressing it is saladisable too.If you've got the patience Tempura batter is a treat.
Nice piece from the London Review Of Books here.
Umami (deliciousness=apparently),MSG,some racism and a hoax.Despite sounding like some duffers from Surrey the LRB has been a pretty good news/info source at a time when UK printed media is effectively over.Not to so good when they go a gallery visit mind. https://www.lrb.co.uk/.../n17/daniel-soar/the-sixth-taste
Trydan a Glaw/Apologies for Problems Today
A game of 2 halves today as the latest drought broke(to our great relief)but the electricity failed midway through the day. Apologies to those turned away while back-up electricity was arranged.
12mm of rain should keep a lot of crops alive after more dry weeks.Weather extremes continue to nibble away at all our lives while many people are reluctant to stop flying,driving or even use our local bus.A belief in technological fixes(Eg electric cars en masse)rather than basic cultural stuff like walking more is a serious problem.
Crops have yielded well on ever improving soils,with some impressive Leeks,Squash and Brassicas coming through now.Each year we continue to tweak sowing dates and attempt to squeeze more in to finite land areas to match demand growth.There are economies and diseconomies of scale in this process as well as the very satisfying creation of paid work.
While polytunnel 3 is now about to extend to same length as the other 3 tunnels progress on the long awaited shop extension has been slower. Throughout the pandemic we have been very keen to increase the working and shopping area for everyone's benefit and safety.For those who have noted the CO2 meter in the shop you might be reassured by readings that rarely get past 500ppm while we are open,(we are). Still unclear why such a cheap and effective device has been recommended for schools so late in the day......
Sul y Pasg-Ar Gau + Newyddion Mwy/Easter Sunday Closed
We take a brief farmshop breather on Sunday although the plants are not on holiday unfortunately. Great to see some reopenings in the area as outdoor food, and soon drink, re-emerge. Seeing young locals fronting Crwst/Tymor/Tafell+Tan/El Salsa/Pizza Tipi is really encouraging, especially for us duffers looking on.
Demand has remained robust and we have been short of some seasonal crops Eg early Leek finish for us. Apologies if we haven't had everything on every day. Imports and other UK crops are also affected by higher prices and some shortages, not least because of the deteriorating Brexit realities biting.
Seasonally we are busy planting early outside crops, sowing Summer tender items, dock digging and prepping land. We remain in debt to many local contractors to get it all done when we've needed help. Gratitude to all at Graham Parkes, MD Recycling and Kevin D for recent assistance.
With a Senedd election looming the wider UK looks increasingly perilous. Continued looting by UK Gov.officials, seemingly without sanction, means many of us in Wales remain anxious about Westminster governance.
Adam ar Youtube/Food Production-WOW Interview
Newyddion o'r Fferm/View From the Farmgate 10.2.21
Amidst lengthening days,increasing birdsong and a brief dry period you can feel Spring approaching.We have been busy prepping for the new season,a combination of spreadsheets,forecasting,masses of previous data and elbow(+real) grease.If it goes well then our 5 year rotation,pricing,paid hours plan and happy customers all mesh seemlessly together.The relative lack of Market Gardens and UK veg importing suggests it's not so easy, or indeed lucrative. Our optimism is always at its highest at this point.
Local pop-up "Tymor"having fed us several times over the Summer reappears for a Valentine night this Sunday using several contributions from us in a Mezze menu(see accompanying pic for details).Tafell a Tan reopens at Llangranog,and local chippies and Borlottis keep local food options open.Local Bakers Crwst,Anuna,Queens and our own Phil are also doing a sterling job.
Demand has been steady and sufficiently above last year to leave us short of some crops on some days.Apologies if we haven't had everything you might have normally expected.Eg Watercress.Wider UK and European supply remains fragile with Brexit effects continuing,Eg shortage of labour,transport chaos.Most UK growers remain reluctant to grow any more Eg Caulis,while prices remain historically low and UK supermarkets so dominant.This appears to suit clients of Jacob Rees Mogg a lot more than nearly everyone else.
As ever what does the season offer? The Spring means leafy crops,always first to emerge;Salad,Rocket,Pak Choi,Herbs,Chard,and Sorrel,while early new Kale and Beetroot won't be far behind.Our early Carrots are just germinating inside and our propagation benches are filling fast.
Back home in St.Dogmaels it's a mixed picture as on one hand a great local campaign has driven on the purchase of the closed White Hart pub for community benefit while the 2nd homes problem continues.A vote at Pembs C.Council beckons on a minor tax increase but amidst continued foot dragging local young people continue to rehome themselves elsewhere.Needless to say empty houses don't create much grocery demand, job creation or vibrant culture.
We were pleasantly surprised to find £800 was raised in the Food Bank bucket.Who says facecoverings don't pay? While covid rates in W.Wales are recently encouraging the UK Gov determination not to control travel continues to reintroduce infection widely.Failure to distinguish between low risk activity Eg nearly everything outside and high risk activity Eg schools and workplaces without ventilation and building assessments,means covid reinfections will continue.Refer to Indy SAGE briefings to keep abreast of what vaccination outcomes are likely to mean ie no magic bullets.There seems little interest in the UK in copying the success of New Zealand.S.Korea,Australia,Vietnam or many other "elimination"countries.
Newyddion 2021/We Open Soon....(Thursday Jan 14th-10am)
Amidst a fracturing and sickly UK be glad you are living in an area with very low covid infection rates. We have updated our website on News and Links pages www.glebelandsmarketgarden.co.uk/news.html to enable anybody to stay abreast of news as available. Better days ahead we hope. While the UK looks to continue poor Pandemic management New Zealand, S.Korea, Taiwan and S.Vietnam continue to manage very well. It clearly doesn't have to be this way and if you voted Stephen Crabb or Simon Hart at the last election we are all paying a heavy price.
Cause for optimism might be that a sensible diet, behavior and clean air will give anybody a much higher chance of surviving this crisis. Efforts to support those less fortunate or vulnerable are heartening. Eg Cardigan Food Bank. Respect to those staffing NHS, Social Services Schools and other vital services while undertaking serious risk. No respect to those continuing to claim there is no Pandemic.
We expect veg supply to remain generally ok despite problems with all imported crops largely due to Brexit fall out. All Mediterranean crops Eg Oranges and Lemons will be permanently more expensive and some tropical crops the same Eg Pineapples and Turmeric. UK crops have suffered some frost damage but Cardigan has largely escaped the worst (Purple Sprouting oasis in SA43...). The UK Gov has extended permits for overseas workers to pick UK veg to stave off another Brexit problem. Neonicotinoids (the bee killlers) returned to the UK now EU control has ceased https://www.independent.co.uk/.../bees-kill-pesticide...
We will continue to provide a ventilated space to shop in and are looking at co2 meters as a simple test of air quality. It is now finally recognised that covid-19 is another airborne (ask the Victorians...) disease relying on poor air and vulnerabilities, not endless handwashing. Official advice and monitoring is so poor that you could still fly into Heathrow Airport from anywhere and be free to infect where you chose in the UK right now, despite a promise to sort it out.
More positively local bakers are cranking back into action with Crwst baking from Thursday 21.1.21, Anuna from Friday 15.1.21 and our inhouse star Phil from Thursday 14.1.21. Queen's Bakery also remain baking in Cardigan. Bara Menyn are now closed while new premises are sought.
Finally we will try to get a bit more on our recipes website page soon, focusing on Welsh ingredients in season. We still remain blessed with a mild maritime climate sufficient to enjoy a varied diet without relying on imports. Lets make the most of it. Ymlaen!
Newyddion Nadolig o Ardd Farchnad Glebelands/News+Happy Xmas From Us
We hope you have all noted extra Xmas trading days,repeated on accompanying leaflet pic.Every Xmas is different but this year definitely is.Food supply in the UK has held up v.well despite multiple covid challenges,it is however already wobbling once again as the Brexit process looms.If only because of higher transport/import costs produce from Spain,etc will be dearer in 2021.
We expect Xmas availability to be ok with a reasonably strong seasonal line up.We have plenty of Purple Sprouting,Leeks and Greens but few Caulis.Salad is fine but Watercress ltd(bit too popular).UK Apples and roots look fine.We have some Kalette tops and Asparagus Kale for the lucky few.
Pleasing to see Welsh Gov and others finally publicising the need for ventilation/clean air as part of any covid strategy.While clean hands are always a good idea that is not the route that covid is transmitted.It would be very unfortunate if the need to tackle air quality,poor nutrition and deprivation in the UK was forgotten in the current rush to achieve a mass vaccination solution. It remains sobering to look at other countries which have handled the whole challenge much better,in health,economic and social terms.BBC news bulletins in particular sound increasingly like a UK Gov mouthpiece rather than an objective deliver of facts and analysis.Lord Reith would not be impressed.
We hope to return recharged after our annual break and hope that local determination to maintain a Cardi rather than an Amazon economy continues.
Nadolig Llawen i Bawb