More Delicious Crops from Lembas

Thanks to our lovely and capable team of Francesca, Rose  and seasoned boss Paul, we are able to sow, plant, cultivate, weed and harvest more delicious veg crops again this year.

All crops are looking good, despite the changeable weather patterns from cold to hot and vice versa and long dry spells,which caused only the occasional problem.

Check out our new gallery to see what's happening at Lembas. 

Radished

radishes

Did you enjoy the hot weather ? I hope you did, I enjoyed it too as long as I did not look in my radish tunnel. The high day time and low night time temperatures played havoc with the tender radish leaves and made them mature far too fast.

This has never happened before to this degree and we have had to throw out a whole week's production. It would have been ok if we did not bunch the radishes but sold them in a plastic bag as we did the last few years, but plastic is a no no nowadays. For good reason but it makes marketing fresh produce so much more difficult. The radish itself is very nice to eat but bunched it is a sorry sight. Humm.

The Perfect Storm...

Have you got a minute ? This article 'COVID, Climate Change and Brexit: The perfect storm' by Sonia from Coleshill Organics sums up the present situation we are finding ourselves in very well.

Well done Sonia.

 

New Order Deadlines and Brexit Update

Due to Brexit  we can no longer make amendments to our orders on Fridays as before and the new order deadline for BESPOKE orders is: Before Wednesday mornings 9 am the week before delivery. We understand this to be rather hard especially since some of you will not have received your produce  from the previous order yet. However this is the best we can do to guarantee that at least most of what you order will come.

New deadlines for the STANDARD boxes for our Wednsday round : Monday morning 10 am for delivery/pickup same week wednesday.

We will of course still accept orders after the deadlines but it will be subject to what we then have estimated and those with arranged  repeat order systems will receive these as before.

There can and will  be of course still other unexpected causes at times that some product may not be available after all, as we’ve all experienced  before.

Due to new  export and Import paperwork and the fees connected with this,  Brexit is not only increasing costs but also complicating some imports tremendously. This hits small businesses which import lots of different product lines, like us, per consignment harder than bigger ones who can spread these costs over more volume per item. For example wether we buy 100 boxes of tomatoes or only 10 the fee per product is the same. On top of this  come other fees per consignment.

CHEESE can only be imported accompanied by a  complicated health certificate, which none of our Dutch suppliers want to get involved with just now, so our cheese list will become reduced for now whilst stock lasts  until we find new suppliers or British alternatives depending on wether there will be demand for these.

CHEDDAR CHEESE will remain on our list.

We have decided therefore currently not to import ourselves  but have joined with our existing Scottish supplier so that he can  import more quantity per single product line, which hopefully benefits you again by the Brexit costs being spread out more on the European produce.

We hope to grow more produce ourselves as well. Fingers crossed.

We will do our best under the new circumstances,

Many thanks for all your support.

Broccoli

Broccoli

The hens gone some land has come available for growing veg and having some very welcome helping hands with the growing now here we are trialing broccoli for our Wednesday round. A bit up and down this year but we are learning. The Dutch believe that babies come from the cabbage patch. Here it seems that three year olds do.

Sign of the times

Empty Chicken Shed

Freya has retired from the poultry part of the business. No more hens, sheds are empty. And when someone retires around here, there is no succession it seems. We have tried to find someone to take over this part of the business which has done well, is well suited to our conditions, complemented the veg growing to a tee, offered further expansion and would lend itself well for a social care project, but we have not found anyone. Too many local project have stopped and are gone. The organic movement keep growing apace but mostly elsewhere it seems. This seems to be a bit of a story in Scotland altogether. 

But let us raise our glasses to Freya, who started with a handful of chickens next to our house in Maryculter in the 1980's and build up one of the best little commercial units in Scotland, got many remarks on the quality of the eggs and got a pat on the back from our chicken breeder for the way our hens looked and were cared for. 

Corona Virus Update

Dear Customers

For the time being we will remain open and do our best to provide you with produce

The food supply chain is very uncertain now all over the food sector. With staff going into isolation with any sign of cold there is a shortage of people harvesting produce ,lorry drivers ,warehouse people Europe wide. On top of it come the supermarkets needing many more deliveries as before ,which may have a detrimental effect on our own lorry slot and days when and what produce comes. We hope however that things will fall back into a normalish routine once everybody, shops included, find their way in this new situation.

Therefore availability is becoming scarcer. On top of it more demand has been made on the remaining Scottish organic crops of this season and they are coming to an end faster than usual. It will be a few months before Scottish new season crops are ready. Meanwhile we do with whatever is still available.

Our suppliers need our orders earlier now .We can't make changes later to it and have to estimate what we need and are counting on you, our existing customers in this regard.

So please keep ordering. The earlier the better.

Please note

Delivery /pick up times may have to vary .this may be at short notice. We will notify you as soon as we know of such.

We may not get as much produce as ordered or produce may be missing. If we have enough of any other produce we will try to substitute what we can so that you will get at least something. We won’t have the time to consult you about any substitutes.

Supply Prices may jump up without warning .Sadly we will have to pass those on. Fingers crossed not too much, we hope.

This also means that the standard blue boxes for home delivery and pick up might go up in price and we may have to put different produce into the boxes than what is specified or a bit less to keep the current price. We will monitor this carefully.

For the Wednesday round/pick up: We will use as many carton boxes during this time as we have instead of the small blue crates. Your various boxes for example vegbox 1 vegbox 2 etc might be combined in one bigger box instead of 2 small ones etc.....We won’t accept return carton boxes during this time and you have to dispose of them yourself. If you get blue crates please return them the next week as usual.

Eggs: my hens are getting older and laying less ,yet eating the same amount of food of course. Home delivery prices will be £2.20 for now per box of eggs. This might change.

Order honouring: Once you placed an order with us and it has been ordered by our suppliers ,we can't change that anymore and you will need to pay for that which comes. Even if it means you are shutting down or going into isolation. Our business can't cope to cover financially for late cancelled orders.

New customers:

Because of these uncertainties and not knowing if our own staff might become affected for example by nursery closures or isolating we are at this moment in time reluctant to take on new customers, but feel free to contact us anyway in case things change once we find our way with these new situations and we can then get back to you.

We hope for your understanding in all this and would like to thank you for your custom.

Team Lembas

21 March 2020 

Ready to Skep Swarms

organic beekeeperI do not practise any swarm prevention or split colonies artificially but let the bees swarm naturally. The beekeepers nightmare ! But it is a most wonderful experiences to stand in a cloud of bees and handling them once skepped, I believe there must be some benefit in letting the bees behave like they want, they are having a though time and can do with a bit of t l c. Know of anyone wanting bees ? I charge £20.00 for a swarm so this is an affordable way to get bees. 

To Your Good Health

I am not a great believer in organic magic in a bottle. I am a great believer in the basics of organic, good soil cultivation, good manure and compost, a good rotation and that should do it. But I do use seaweed, it goes on the plants through the overhead irrigation. I does not make a poor job good, but it seems to make a good job better. Plants do look darker leaved and shelf life is improved. Signs of better health which should be passed on to you. Maybe in the form of a fuller palate of minerals and stuff or the ever so hard to quantify forces of life but I do hope with all my heart that it does do good to you too. Here is to your good health.

Hot Dog and Mustard

With one of our hen houses unoccupied, I have been able to treat the soil around it properly for once. And what joy. This yellow flower is a type of mustard that naturally fumigate a soil and leaves it whole and healthy for the next lot of hens. Bees love it, I love it. It is like a soil singing for joy.

And it has done well, maybe because of the heat, certainly enough manure and just sown in time before everything dried up. It is good for the soul to be good to a soil.

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