Local seasonal food made easy

Published in Charlbury Chronicle December 2020

At least we have one beneficial side effect of lockdown, we can now order farmers market produce every week for collection at the Community Centre on a Saturday afternoon, where we have a small band of volunteers organising safe collection. The website  https://www.styanfamilyproduce.co.uk/ is much improved from the early days in April and lets you order and pay online. Make your selection of freshly harvested fruit and vegetables from Evesham, trout from Bibury, eggs, cheeses, preserves, tomato and apples juices, oils and mayonnaise from Stainswick Farm, and honey from Charlbury. The Bibury trout van is on site for collecting the pre-orders but being on the way back from morning markets, Steve is also likely to have unsold produce including crumbles, quiches, and cold smoked trout which aren’t available from the website.

At the peak we had about 100 orders a week but with the easing of lockdown restrictions, people getting away on holiday, and using their own garden produce, the number of orders has gradually reduced to about 35. The service will continue though because Charlbury has proved to be such a successful virtual market and numbers are beginning to increase again.

Another benefit has been that we’ve been able to use the percentage commission we get for organising the collection to buy boxes of fresh produce every week for distribution by the school and The Cornerstone to several local families.

So what kind of veg can you expect in season over the winter? Kales, cabbages, sprouts, onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beetroot, cauliflower, sprouting broccoli, Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac, kohl rabi growing in the fields and chard and French beans with protection in the polytunnels. Tomatoes are available from March through to December being grown in glasshouses with the season extended using a biomass boiler. In the summer we’ve had asparagus, rocket and salad leaves, strawberries and other soft fruits, rhubarb, plums, runner beans and sweetcorn.

See the event advert on www.charlbury.info for links to place an order.

Christine Elliott
Charlbury Green Hub