Home Farm People - Catherine Pyne, Home Farm Box Scheme Manager
(Left to right: Catherine, Hannah, Ames, Emily)
My name is Catherine and I run the Organic Vegetable Box Scheme at Home Farm. We distribute about 250 boxes a week within a ten to twelve mile radius of Home Farm. People don't know what they're getting in the box so it's a surprise for them which they tell us they love!
The Veg Shed is, as it sounds, a shed where the cows used to be housed. We used to open only on Wednesdays, but we've just started opening on Fridays and Saturdays as well. We've had a good response to the extra opening hours and have picked up quite a few new customers.
My main job is to decide what goes into the organic vegetable boxes for the following week, I choose what is seasonal and available in our fields. Our main priority is to give our customers as much choice and variety as possible. At this time of year we've got organic broad beans, kohl rabi (a vegetable that looks like an alien!), rainbow chard, spinach, French breakfast radishes, lettuces, rocket, mizuna, broccoli and spring cabbage. And best of all, it's all organic!
We've started digging potatoes so we've got the early Nicola variety which has got a lovely buttery centre, Sapo Mira, a red skinned variety and Maris Bard. So far, it has been a good year for organic potatoes unlike last year. The tomatoes will be ready late August, early September, and this year we're trying some unusual varieties; the cherry tomatoes are very popular because they are so sweet and when we're harvesting it's tempting to eat a lot of them!
I'd say the top three organic veg right now are:
- the new potatoes (Nicola variety)
- the salad leaves
- and our carrots; people love our carrots because they taste so sweet!
We've got a bit of a lull at the moment but they'll be ready in a couple of weeks. We buy in some organic fruit to add variety to our boxes and in the past, we've sold rare varieties of organic apples from Highgrove. We are starting to grow organic rhubarb but that won't be ready until next season from May. We also sell flour, from Shipton Mill which is based close by, made from Home Farm wheat and Duchy Originals Organic Wholegrain Mustard which is made from mustard seed grown here.
If people want to be adventurous with their food we try to accommodate that. For example, in our salad bags we've got edible flowers (nasturtiums). They are bright orange and have a peppery taste. We also provide recipes in the boxes that are relevant to the vegetables that week. They come from a variety of sources - recipes we've used and liked and also recipes our customers recommend.
Tuesday, December 30
i live in north Dorset and would like to know where I can buy Nicola potatoes.thank you
Friday, March 20
I live in Chicago and would like to know where I can buy Nicola potatoes. Thank you.